Friday, March 20, 2009

Travel, trade concessions 'not enough'

Cuban Colada

Cuba's Vice Minister for Foreign Trade and Investments Ricardo Guerrero described Washington's recent relaxation of travel and trade regulations as "a minuscule gesture," the Spanish news agency EFE reported. "We expect another gesture, a superior gesture, a gesture of dialogue as proposed by our General-President," Guerrero said Friday in Havana, referring to Raúl Castro.

Cuba is waiting "for new measures to come, because the fundamental issue is a lifting of the unfair blockade" that the United States has imposed on the island since 1962. The relaxation of regulations that came in a budget bill signed two weeks ago by President Obama was "absolutely indispensable" because the existing regulations were "discriminatory" and "tended to separate the Cuban family," Guerrero said. But it wasn't enough.

Guerrero's statement was Cuba's first official response to the budget bill's implications. For more on the vice minister's comments, click here.

---Renato Pérez Pizarro.

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