Informacion economica sobre Cuba

U.S. might take more steps to relax Cuba embargo, official says
By Daniel Trotta

HAVANA (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama could further relax the
U.S. trade embargo of Cuba, a senior State Department official said on
Tuesday, adding that Washington would not first demand human rights
progress from Havana.

Obama has twice used executive authority to ease the embargo as part of
his opening to Cuba, and more such regulatory changes could come if Cuba
can absorb those made to date, said David Thorne, a senior adviser to
Secretary of State John Kerry.

“We are making progress. We are making regulatory changes. We’ll make
more,” Thorne told Reuters in an interview.

Obama has eased travel restrictions on Americans, authorized
telecommunications companies to operate in Cuba, and permitted trade
with Cuba’s small but growing private sector, among other measures.

But Cuba has been slow to embrace U.S. business, citing its inability to
use dollars or receive U.S. credits under the embargo. In one notable
exception, Cuban state telecommunications monopoly Etecsa on Monday
signed a roaming agreement with U.S. carrier Sprint Corp.

“The pace is really going to be set by the Cubans and we are satisfied
with how they want to do this,” said Thorne, who did not specify what
changes might come.

Obama reversed the course of 10 previous presidents last December when
he agreed with Cuban President Raul Castro to end Cold War-era animosity
and restore diplomatic relations.

Obama has also called on the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress to end
the trade embargo, in place since 1962, but legislation to lift it has

Opponents of detente say the United States should continue to pressure
Cuba over its one-party political system and repression of political

Thorne said Washington was not expecting rapid change on human rights.

“As in other parts of the world, we are really trying to also say: Let’s
find out how we can work together and not always say that human rights
are the first things that we have to fix before anything else,” Thorne said.

“We have to figure out how we can help each other, work together, create
a sense of shared prosperity. And then we think that what comes along
with that is an increasingly open environment for the discussion on
human rights,” he added.

Cuban police held 1,093 political activists in short-term detention in
October, the highest monthly total this year, according to the dissident
Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

Thorne, on a three-day visit to Havana, met with Foreign Trade Minister
Rodrigo Malmierca and Cubans working in the private sector as small
business owners or in cooperatives. He also attended the inaugural
meeting of the U.S.-Cuba Business Council, an initiative of the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by David Gregorio and Howard Goller)

Source: U.S. might take more steps to relax Cuba embargo, official says
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