Cuba's top negotiator says Obama regulatory changes don't go far enough
BY FRANCO ORDOÑEZ
Cuba's top negotiator with the United States called President Barack
Obama's latest set of regulatory changes on trade with Cuba a "positive
step" toward the lifting the embargo and improving relations between the
two countries, but added they do not go far enough.
The latest regulatory changes recognize Cuba as a partner and respect
its sovereignty, but Josefina Vidal, who heads the U.S. Department at
Cuba's Foreign Ministry, said they don't hide the fact that the United
States seeks to change the economic, political and social systems of Cuba.
"Nor does it hide the intention of continuing to develop in our country
interventionist programs that benefit the interests of the United
States," Vidal said.
On Friday, the Obama administration announced a new round of regulatory
changes meant to ease trade, travel and financial restriction with Cuba
and make it harder for any new administration to reverse them. The
changes include eliminating the $100 limit on the value of Cuban rum and
cigars that American travelers can bring back from the island.
The new rules also allow online sales of consumer goods, such as
toothpaste and televisions, to Cubans without requiring U.S. companies
to get a prior license. But Vidal questioned the financial benefits and
said most go to unauthorized transactions.
"The new measures generally benefit the U.S. more than Cuba and the
Cuban people," Vidal said. "The reality is that the blockade persists
and it's something that we have to continue living with."
Email: email@example.com; Twitter: @francoordonez.
Source: Cuba's top negotiator says Obama regulatory changes don't go far
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