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.