Category Archives: Cuba / US Relations

Statement by the Revolutionary Government of Cuba on Trump’s roll back of Presidents Obama’s Cuba initiative

Statement by the Revolutionary Government of Cuba
Submitted by editor on Sat, 06/17/2017 – 16:04

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On June 16, 2017, US President Donald Trump delivered a speech full of hostile anti-Cuban rhetoric reminiscent of the times of open confrontation with our country in a Miami theater. He announced his government’s Cuba policy, which rolls back the progress achieved over the last two years since December 17, 2014, when Presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama announced the decision to re-establish diplomatic relations and engage in a process towards the normalization of bilateral relations.

In what constitutes a setback in the relations between both countries, President Trump, gave a speech and signed a policy directive titled “National Security Presidential Memorandum”, which provides the elimination of private educational “people-to-people” exchanges and greater control over all travelers to Cuba, as well as the prohibition of business, trade and financial transactions between US companies and certain Cuban companies linked to the Armed Revolutionary Forces and the intelligence and security services, under the alleged objective of depriving us from income. The US president justified this policy with alleged concerns over the human rights situation in Cuba and the need to rigorously enforce the US blockade laws, conditioning its lifting, as well as any improvements in US-Cuba bilateral relations to our country’s making changes inherent to its constitutional order.

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SILENT VIGIL demanding continued travel and engagement with Cuba.

New York – New Jersey CubaSi

Contact: Joan Gibbs – 718-789-1801 joanpgibbs2012@gmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York 14 June 2017… On Thursday, June 15th hundreds of New Yorkers will gather at 4:30PM in front of Trump Tower – 725 5th Avenue at 56th Street –In a SILENT VIGIL demanding continued travel and engagement with Cuba.

On Friday President Donald Trumo is expected to announce his administration’s new “Cuba Policy” and has promised to overturn the moves toward full normalization with our closest neighbor to the South.

Late last month the conservative blog The Daily Caller reported that Trump was planning to make good on his campaign promise to “terminate” the Obama administration’s opening of engagement with Cuba. Just over two and a half years after the United States finally took steps to end more than half a century of hostility and restrictions on trade and travel, Trump wants us to go backwards.

Polls and statistics show that the majority of Washington policy-makers, as well as Cuban-Americans and U.S. Citizens at large, favor engagement with Cuba. So today we ask: Is it really “America First?” or Trump and the small power-hungry Cuban-American right wing FIRST?

We don’t want to return to the outdated, antiquated and cruel cold war policies of the past. We need friendship and peace in our hemisphere.

WE CANNOT SIT STILL!!!

Join us this Thursday – outside Trump Tower – at 4:30 PM – Let our legislators know we want to continue the path towards normalization with Cuba..

End the Travel Ban!!! End the Embargo!!!

Regular commercial flights between Cuba and the U.S. officially resume

Regular commercial flights between Cuba and the U.S. officially resume
JetBlue airline flight 387 landed at Santa Clara’s Abel Santamaría International Airport at 10:56am, today August 31, thus marking the official resumption of regular commercial flights between Cuba and the U.S., suspended for over half a century

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Author: Sergio Alejandro Gómez | informacion@granma.cu
Author: Ángel Freddy Pérez Cabrera | freddy@granma.cu
august 31, 2016 13:08:12

JetBlue airline flight 387 landed at Santa Clara’s Abel Santamaría International Airport at 10:56am, today August 31, thus marking the official resumption of regular commercial flights between Cuba and the U.S., suspended for over half a century.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was among the 150 passengers onboard the Airbus A320 which flew the route between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Santa Clara.
During his visit to Cuba, the U.S. official is scheduled to hold meetings with his Cuban counterpart and other authorities of the island, in Havana.
In addition to JetBlue, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Airways, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines, also received licenses to operate flights from six U.S. cities (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Minneapolis and Philadelphia) to nine destinations on the island: Camagüey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Manzanillo, Matanzas, Santa Clara and Santiago de Cuba.
Beginning in September, JetBlue will fly Monday, Wednesday and Friday between Fort Lauderdale and Santa Clara, with the schedule set to increase to daily flights from October.
The first flight from Fort Lauderdale to Camagüey is scheduled to depart on November 3 and to Holguín on November 10.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno describes meeting between Cuba and the U.S. to discuss compensation claims

Mutual compensation: a complex issue
Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno describes second informative meeting between Cuba and the U.S. to discuss compensation claims by both parties
Author: Laura Bécquer Paseiro | laura@granma.cu
august 2, 2016 09:08:37

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Photo: Jose M. Correa
During a press conference in Havana, yesterday August 1, Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno described the second informative meeting between Cuba and the U.S. held in Washington, July 28, to discuss compensation claims by both parties.
Talks on mutual compensation, as part of the process of normalization of relations between the two countries, are currently in their initial stage, and of a highly complicated nature, technically and legally, explained Moreno, who led Cuba’s delegation to the meeting.
He recalled that since the very first nationalizations laws were established, after the triumph of the Revolution, Cuba has always been willing to compensate foreign individuals and companies affected.
Moreno noted that agreements regarding nationalized property were reached with Canada and five European countries some time ago. Plans with the United States for compensation included a defined time frame, but the actions of the U.S. government prevented their realization.
He clarified that the July 28 meeting involved an exchange of information, specifically on the two countries’ legal frameworks, giving continuity to a first meeting on the issue held in Havana in December of 2015.
No decision has been made regarding actual negotiations on compensation, but the exchange of information will continue over coming months, Moreno said.
He noted that many elements are involved in this discussion, most importantly the U.S. blockade which remains in full force. Cuba’s claims, originally presented in 1999 and 2000, are based on rulings made by Cuban courts placing the value of material and human damages caused by the blockade at 300 billion dollars.
Washington’s claims, Moreno reported, were established by the Justice Department’s Foreign Claims S

Pro-Cuba legislation inches forward in Congress

Pro-Cuba legislation inches forward in Congres
The debate over Cuba is gaining strength in the U.S. Congress, despite that fact that a year and a half after President Barack Obama called for lifting the blockade, no concrete steps have been taken
Author: Sergio Alejandro Gómez | informacion@granma.cu
june 27, 2016 11:06:49

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Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Jeff Flake (R-Ari¬zona) are pushing through a bill to lift travel restrictions to Cuba in the U.S. Senate. Photo: www.article.wn.com Photo: Granma

The debate over Cuba is gaining strength in the U.S. Congress, despite that fact that a year and a half after President Barack Obama called for lifting the blockade, no concrete steps have been taken.
Last week, as part of the 2017 Financial Services and General Government Bill, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved four amendments to remove restrictions on travel to Cuba; authorize private loans for the sale of agricultural products to the island; expand exports of equipment and telecommunications services; and allow airplanes from third countries flying to or from Cuba to refuel in the Bangor International Airport, in the state of Maine.

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The blockade continues intact, assures Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez

The blockade continues intact, assures Bruno Rodríguez
Speaking during a press conference offered to national and international media in Havana, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez referred to the recent amendments announced by the U.S. Departments of the Treasury and Commerce and the upcoming visit by President Barack Obama
Author: Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla | internet@granma.cu
march 17, 2016 16:03:28

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Photo: Cubaminrex
On March 15, the Departments of the Treasury and of Commerce issued new regulations that modify the implementation of some aspects of the US blockade against Cuba.
This is the fourth announcement of this sort made by the Government of the United States since December 17, 2014, when the presidents of both countries made public their decision to re-establish diplomatic relations.
We are currently analyzing their scope and practical effects in order to confirm their feasibility.
After a preliminary consideration of these measures, it can be affirmed that they are positive.
Some of them expand the scope of those which had been adopted before; so is the case for the one authorizing now individual “people-to-people” educational travels. However, it should be recalled that the legal prohibition that prevents US citizens from freely traveling to Cuba is still in force. This prohibition should be lifted by the US Congress.

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Josefina Vidal: Blockade Against Cuba is Still Rigorously Applied

Josefina Vidal: Blockade Against Cuba is Still Rigorously Applied

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Havana, Feb 26 (Prensa Latina) The Director General of the Department of the United States at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Josefina Vidal denounced today that the United States economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba continues to be applied rigorously.

In her profile of the social network Twitter (@JosefinaVidalF), Vidal reported a new fine by the US executive to a company for doing business with Cuban counterparts, an action that confirms the permanence of that policy, imposed for more than half a century.

The message shared in Spanish and English, leads to an official note of the Cuban Ministry, explaining the details of the latest sanction, the third one so far this year.

This time, the penalized company is Halliburton, a company dedicated to providing services in oilfields.

The penalty amounts to $304.706 USD and according to the report of the Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Treasury Department, it is a consequence of the trade relations between Halliburton and its subsidiaries in Cayman Islands and the Cuban company Cuba Petroleo (Cupet) from Fenruary to April that between February and April 2011.

During Obama administration (2009-2016) the fines for the violation of sanctions against Cuba and other countries is 49, higher than during any other presidential term. They total more than $14 billion US.

GRANMA: The latest victim of the blockade: U.S. fines another French company
French company CGG Services S.A. received a fine of $614,250 for the use of spare parts and equipment of U.S. origin on oil and gas exploration vessels operating in Cuban territorial waters
Author: Redacción Internacional
February 23, 2016 09:02:54

WASHINGTON.—The U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed a fine on French company CGG Services S.A. for violations of U.S. sanctions on Cuba.
The company is the latest victim of the economic, commercial and financial persecution of Cuban transactions.
According to a report from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the U.S. imposed the fine totaling $614,250 dollars on CGG Services S.A. and its affiliated companies for exporting spare parts and other equipment from the United States to a vessel operating in Cuba’s territorial waters.
The fine is yet another example of the extraterritorial scope of the blockade and its deterrent effect on foreign and even U.S. companies, who even within the limited context of the regulations might be interested in doing business with Cuba.
According to the OFAC report, the French company’s activities in Cuban waters “caused significant harm to U.S. sanctions program objectives by providing a substantial economic benefit to Cuba.”
The fine, imposed just a few days before the visit by Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, to Washington, is inconsistent with the current context of relations between the two countries and demonstrates that in order to make real progress towards the normalization of bilateral ties, the blockade must be lifted.
Since the announcements of December 17, 2014, the U.S. government has imposed fines on seven companies (four from the U.S. and three others) totaling $2,835,622,225 USD.
To date48fines have been imposedunder PresidentObama(2009-2016) due to violations of sanctions onCubaand other countries.The accumulated valueof the penaltiesis $14,397, 112,121 USD.