Cuba urges US to lift sanctions

Havana, May 17 (IANS) The US economic sanctions against Cuba impeded the development of bilateral ties despite normalisation of relations, a Cuban official said on Monday, urging the US to lift them.

“There are still significant restrictions that limit US exports; very few Cuban products can be imported into the US and there are no normal banking relations between both the countries,” Xinhua news agency quoted Josefina Vidal, the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s chief of US affairs, as saying.

Vidal made the remark after senior Cuban and US officials held talks, in which both sides agreed to continue deepening cooperation in areas like health, agriculture, law enforcement and meteorology.

Vidal said the US trade embargo, which was imposed more than half a century ago, still affect Havana’s relations with the US and other countries.

She said Havana reiterated its political will to advance towards a respectful and constructive relationship with Washington and demanded the US lift its economic blockade as a condition for fully normalising ties.

Vidal called on the next US president to “listen and pay attention” to a large segment of that country’s public opinion which calls for normal relations with Cuba and the lifting of the embargo.

Vidal reaffirmed Cuba’s demand to retrieve the territory occupied by the US Naval Base in Guantanamo.

The two countries restored diplomatic relations in July 2015.

Both countries agreed to meet again in September in Washington to continue talks on the normalisation of ties.

–IANS

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