North America has ‘enormous interest’ in Cuba, Kerry says
BY TRACEE HERBAUGH ASSOCIATED PRESS
01/31/2015 7:00 AM 01/31/2015 10:37 PM
North America has an “enormous interest” in building diplomatic
relationships with Cuba, Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday
during a weekend meeting with his counterparts from Canada and Mexico.
“This is an effort we believe offers the best opportunity for the people
of Cuba to improve their lives and to take part in the choices about
their lives,” Kerry said during a news conference at Boston’s Faneuil Hall.
A high-level U.S. delegation held two days of talks with Cuban officials
in Havana last week for the first time in decades.
In December, President Barack Obama announced plans to restore
diplomatic relations with the Caribbean island nation after more than 50
“It’s time to try something new,” Kerry said of the five-decade economic
embargo against Cuba. He added that the Obama administration will
continue to press Cuban leaders on democracy, human rights protections
and civil society issues.
The Obama administration has said that goal is supported by removing
barriers to U.S. travel, remittances and exports to Cuba. In turn, Cuba
has said it welcomes those measures but has no intention of changing its
Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird and Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign
Affairs Jose Antonio Meade joined Kerry in Boston to discuss issues
facing North America, among them climate change, trade and eliminating
Baird applauded the administration’s willingness to engage in dialogue
“The more American values and American capital that are permitted into
Cuba, the freer the Cuban people will be,” Baird said. “Not only was it
about time, but it was the perfect time that this important change in
policy was made.”
Kerry and Baird also discussed the fight against Islamic State
militants, which Baird referred to as a “death cult” and Kerry accused
of hijacking the Islamic faith.
Source: North America has ‘enormous interest’ in Cuba, Kerry says | The
Miami Herald The Miami Herald –