A New Dawn In U.S. Relations With Cuba

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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has described the news that the United States (US) will be re-establishing a diplomatic relationship with Cuba and easing economic and travel restrictions as a ???positive and forward-looking step???.

He made this comment in reaction to the announcement earlier today by US President, Barack Obama, about the intention to ease restrictions on Cuba.

In an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service, Mr. Stuart said that at the recently-concluded Cuba/CARICOM Summit, he had addressed the long-standing issue in a plenary session, pointing out that ???the protracted standoff between the United States and Cuba had reached the stage where it had become sinful???.

?????? It is not just a standoff against a system of governance, nor is it just a standoff against the surname Castro. It is a standoff that affects every man woman and child walking on the streets of Cuba and, therefore, that the stage had been reached where its rationale no longer existed and it should be brought to an end,??? he had asserted at that event.

The Prime Minister stated that President Obama???s announcement added to the historicity of his presidency, and highlighted ???the capacity of an American president to respond to the imperatives of history???.

???I think that the people of Cuba endured a long, dark night of isolation in relation to the United States of America, and that they too will be glad to know that that long dark night is issuing into a bright new dawn in the relationship between the two countries,??? Mr. Stuart added.

Pointing out that the United States and Cuba had cordial relations before the Cuban Revolution, the Prime Minister said it was good that the relationship was now being restored.

Mr. Stuart also said he was pleased to be the head of one of the four governments which took the historic step in 1972 at Chaguaramas of ending the diplomatic isolation of Cuba in this hemisphere. He noted that other countries had followed suit and that he was pleased that the United States was also on the ???right side of history???.

The Prime Minister said he did not foresee any challenges from the United States Congress to this historic initiative, given there were ???loud echoes on the ground across America that suggests that the standoff between Cuba and the United States has long outlived its usefulness and should end???.

???I wouldn???t want to think that in the name of just opposing something that the President has done that any attempt would be made to stymie this very progressive initiative,??? he reasoned.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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