Cuba under No Illusions Regarding US Ties: Cuban Expert
HAVANA, July 22 (Bernama) — Cuba is taking a cautious and realistic
approach to its renewed diplomatic ties with the US, though the two on
Monday reopened their respective embassies in each other’s capital after
more than 50 years of confrontation and animosity, reports China’s
Xinhua news agency.
Esteban Morales, a Cuban writer, political observer and economist,
believed that ‘Cuba is under no illusions regarding … what is
described as normal relations with the United States.’
Reopening embassies will, for the moment, simply make it easier for the
two once-alienated governments to communicate formally after five
decades of hostility, said Morales, founder and honorary director of the
University of Havana’s Center for Hemispheric and U.S. Studies.
Washington ‘frequently flouts the rules,’ he warned, saying the history
of the US-Cuba ties is full of instances of the US ‘disrespecting the
norms of diplomacy.’
In the absence of diplomatic ties, the two countries maintained
so-called Interests Sections, which the US used to distribute propaganda
and recruit disaffected Cubans to take part in covert anti-government
schemes, said Morales.
While the bilateral talks leading to restoring the ties have been marked
by mutual respect, and the diplomatic agreements taking shape are in
keeping with the Vienna Convention, an international agreement
standardizing the conduct of diplomatic missions, said Morales, adding
it is not enough.
‘They should discuss relations as if between neighbors who respect their
mutual sovereignty and independence,’ he said, especially since a much
more complex and lengthy process lies ahead as the two work to normalize
The US, he said, is not used to negotiating with anybody on the basis of
respect for sovereignty and equality, “but there are reasons why it should.”
Washington “is interested in repairing its ties with Cuba because it has
a complicated hemisphere, which is making progress through new
organizations and new policies that don’t involve the United States,”
The current rapprochement between the former foes is a unique
opportunity, especially for Cuba to negotiate normalized ties with
But that goal, he said, will not be possible as long as the U.S.-led
trade embargo against Cuba remains in force, and the U.S. side refuses
to withdraw from the Guantanamo Naval Base it has maintained on the
island, both demands the Cuban government has repeatedly made.
According to the White House, only Congress can lift the embargo, though
Cuba claims the White House can use presidential prerogatives to
significantly ease the slew of economic, financial and trade sanctions
that cripple the Cuban economy.
The US should take steps to compensate Cuba for the economic losses
caused by the embargo over the past 50 years, said Morales.
In addition to those obstacles, he said, the US immigration policy, such
as the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, which encourages defections, presents
another barrier to normal relations.
“There are a series of obstacles and difficulties, but I hope, based on
the political will and determination shown by both sides, that these
relations can proceed properly,” said Morales.
Source: BERNAMA – Cuba under No Illusions Regarding US Ties: Cuban
Expert – http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/bm/wn/newsworld.php?id=1154492