Kerry arrives in Cuba on historic trip

Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cuba Friday on a historic visit to raise the American flag over the newly reopened US embassy, cementing Washington's rapprochement with Havana.

The whirlwind one-day trip is the first visit to the communist island by a US secretary of state since 1945.

 

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Kerry Warns Congress That It’s Impossible to Get “Better Deal” with Iran

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday bluntly told the U.S. Congress that it is a “fantasy” to think that it would be possible to reach a “better deal” than the one signed this month on Iran’s nuclear program and if lawmakers fail to approve it, it would make a military clash more probable.

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Cuban Foreign Minister meets with US Secretary of State

On Monday, July 20, in the afternoon, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, was welcomed at the headquarters of the State Department by his US counterpart, John Kerry.

The heads of the Cuban and US diplomacy discussed the current status of the relations between both countries as well as the progress achieved since the announcements of December 17, 2014, including Cuba’s removal from the list of States sponsors of terrorism, the historic meeting between President Raúl Castro and President Barack Obama, the expansion of official exchanges on issues of common interest and the re-establishment of diplomatic relations and the re-opening of embassies.

After recognizing the appeals issued by President Obama to the US Congress so that the blockade is finally lifted as well as the steps that have been taken to modify the implementation of some aspects of that policy, Minister Rodríguez Parrilla insisted that the total lifting of the blockade is an essential part of the process towards the normalization of relations, as it is the resolution of other problems that have been accumulating for more than fifty years. He also emphasized that, in the meantime, the President of the United States can continue taking steps, by resorting to his executive powers, to significantly contribute to the dismantling of the blockade.

The Cuban Minister reiterated the Cuban government’s willingness to move on towards the normalization of relations with the United States on the basis of respect and equality and without any prejudice to the independence and sovereignty of Cuba.

Both parties ratified their interest in normalizing bilateral relations, recognizing that this will be a long and complex process that will require of the willingness of both countries.

This is the first visit paid to the United States by a Cuban foreign minister since the triumph of the Revolution. The Cuban minister is in Washington heading the delegation that attended the ceremony to re-open the Cuban Embassy in this country.

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Kerry Acknowledges Role of Leaders from Cuba and the USA

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, highlighted today the role played by Presidents Raul Castro (Cuba) and Barack Obama (United States) in the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Kerry extolled them for agreeing to focus on the issues and possibilities of the future, something that, he said, is much more productive than sticking to the past.

Kerry said that the mutual reopening of embassies between his country and Cuba comes thanks to a personal decision of President Obama to change a failed policy that had been maintained for too long.

He also stressed that, though there are differences between Washington and Havana, the two governments identified areas for cooperation, like environmental protection, immigration or telecommunications.

According to Kerry, the step is worth it because circumstances have changed, a reflection of which is that the step has been very much welcomed by the international community.

Kerry, who is in Vienna attending a crucial round of talks to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran, will attend this summer the reopening of the US embassy in Cuba, which would be the first visit of a US Secretary of State since 1945.

Both Obama and Raul Castro ratified today the decision to reestablish relations, and the US president urged Congress to lift the unilateral sanctions imposed on Cuba for over half a century because that isolation policy failed and was counterproductive for the United States.

  • Published in Cuba
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