Monday, January 17, 2011

Official Cuban Response

Text of Cuban Foreign Ministry statement
Statement from the Cuban Foreign Ministry on Jan. 16, published in Granma and translated by Cuban Colada.

On Jan. 14, 2011, the Government of the United States announced new measures regarding Cuba. Although we shall have to wait for the publication of the regulations to learn their true meaning, according to preliminary information released by the White House Press Office, the measures consist of:

• Authorizing the travel by Americans to Cuba for academic, educational, cultural and religious purposes.

• Allowing American citizens to send remittances to Cuban citizens in limited quantities.

• Authorizing U.S. international airports to request permission to operate direct charter flights to Cuba under certain conditions.

The adoption of these measures is the result of efforts by broad sectors of American society that for years have sought mainly to lift the genocidal blockade against Cuba and the elimination of the absurd ban on travel to our country.

It is also an expression of the recognition of the failure of U.S. policy against Cuba and the fact that it seeks new ways to achieve its historic goals of domination of our people.

Although the measures are positive, they remain well below those just demands, have a very limited scope and do not modify the policy against Cuba.

The White House announcement is limited, essentially, to restoring some of the provisions that were in force in the 1990s under the Clinton administration, and were eliminated by George W. Bush beginning in 2003.

Those measures benefit only certain categories of Americans and do not restore the right to travel to Cuba of all American citizens, who will continue to be the only ones in the world who cannot visit our country freely.

These measures confirm that there is no willingness to change the policy of blockade and destabilization against Cuba. When announcing them, officials of the United States Government made it quite clear that the blockade will remain intact and that they intend to use the new measures to strengthen the instruments of subversion and interference in the internal affairs of Cuba. This confirms the charges contained in the Foreign Ministry statement dated Jan. 13 past.

Cuba has always favored exchanges with American people, universities, academic, scientific and religious institutions. All the obstacles that hinder visits by Americans to Cuba always have been, and continue to be, on the side of the Government of the United States.

If there were a real interest in expanding and facilitating the contacts between our peoples, the United States should lift the blockade and eliminate the prohibition that makes Cuba the only country to which Americans cannot travel.

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