US-Cuba trade ties still a ‘point of contention’ almost one year after thaw

Washington D.C., Oct 9 (ANI): Almost one year after the US-Cuban thaw, the lack of progress in trade is still a point of contention between the two countries, which has reportedly frustrated American officials.

Both US President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro have urged that the trade embargo be lifted between the two countries, The Washington Times reports.

Even though both presidents hold the same opinion regarding trade relations, the question over its implementation remains, as the bilateral relationship between the two nations is still mired in atmospherics and distrust.

The opportunity of improving trade relations between the US and Cuba is on a downward spiral with Obama out of office in 14 months.

The White House, after announcing last month the most significant loosening of Cuba sanctions in decades, said there was little it can do without Havana’s assistance.

Obama said that the sanctions were still a big hurdle, adding that Cuban authorities have demonstrated little appetite for such “carrots”.

Senior US officials have said that a complete removal of the embargo will only be possible if Havana made democratic reforms.

They also described opponents of embargo in Congress as “desperate” for gestures from the Castro government.

Meanwhile, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s visit to Havan this week only seemed to underscore how far both the countries have to go.

Pritzker has been described as just another person joining the parade of U.S. lawmakers and corporate leaders who have returned from Cuba without much progress. (ANI)

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