The topic of the relations between Cuba and the United States will again take the ‘public floor’ for various reasons, among them being the start of the work of a commission that will analyze the pressing topics of the bilateral agenda.

The creation of this work group was announced by the chancellor Bruno Rodríguez on August 14 during the Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Havana who directed the official opening ceremony of the US Embassy.

The topic of the relations between Cuba and the United States will again take the ‘public floor’ for various reasons, among them being the start of the work of a commission that will analyze the pressing topics of the bilateral agenda.Its members will discuss the way in which they can come to an agreement despite the different conceptions held in regards to human rights, democracy, the application of law and the practice of international law.

Among the pending matters is Cuba’s complaint for Washington to return the territory occupied by the naval base in Guantanamo Bay, as well as the cessation of illegal transmissions and subversions against the island.

On their behalf, the Northamericans request to discuss the compensation for their nationals affected by nationalization after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, an aspect which Havana is guaranteed to be ready to tackle.

The Commission’s work is developed in a new context in the Cuban- US links and in the middle of a strong debate in the Northamerican society regarding the need for the Congress to lift the economic, commercial and financial embargo placed against the Caribbean territory more than half a century ago.

The installation of the Commission coincides with the fact that President Barack Obama will decide in September whether Cuba will continue for another year to be the only nation sanctioned in virtue of the Trading with the Enemy Act which dates back to 1917.

Experts on the subject highlight that it is difficult for the head of the White House to maintain the island under this act after the reestablishment of the bilateral relations and the reopening of the respective diplomatic embassies as well as Obama himself asking the Congress to lift the sanctions against Havana.

According to the Cuban authorities, the embargo constitutes the main obstacle impeding the advances towards normalization of the links between the two neighboring nations and at the centre of the debate is the possibility that Obama will adopt new measures planned to make the laws that prohibit the Northamericans from visiting Cuba more flexible.

On that subject, in mid-August various US media showed that with the use of his executive attributions the President anticipates the relaxation in the possible mentioned regulations imposed by the Congress.

The Northamericans that go to Cuba have to be within 12 categories approved by the White House on last January 15.

Various websites have recently said that Obama is also planning on implementing changes in the bans on giving Cuba loans, with the aim to facilitate the purchases of Northamerican products, purchases which at present the companies on the island are making via advanced payments or in cash.

In this context, the US department of the Treasury of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) freed dozens of foreign companies and individuals from the list of sanctioned entities for maintained some sort of economic and financial relationship with Cuba.

The relation, published on August 27, includes entities from Germany, Cyprus, Kuwait, Ecuador, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela.

Although the economic, commercial and financial embargo can only be lifted by the Congress, Obama has wide executive faculties which can relax a considerable number of unilateral sanctions, but experts consider that to date he has done very little.

Share on FB Share on TT