The Strategist

Cuba and US: a Fresh Start with Old Debts

07/21/2015 - 05:18

The Cuban flag is raised over the country's embassy in the US, reports US television on Monday.

Day Donaldson
Day Donaldson
The ceremony was attended by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla. Later, he will meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry in the State Department. Also, a press conference with Parrilla is scheduled after the meeting.

The Cuban embassy in the United States resumed the work after more than 50 years after the rupture of diplomatic relations between the two countries, declared shortly after Fidel Castro’s coming to power, and accompanied by the introduction of economic sanctions against Havana.

Jose Ramon Cabañas is appointed as the Cuban ambassador.

Also, the Caribbean country’s flag is raised at the entrance of the building of the US State Department, where one can find the flags of all the states with which the United States have diplomatic relations. The American Embassy in Havana also opened on Monday.

According to the Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, one of the conditions for the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States - disturbance of the economic damage caused by the embargo.

- I emphasized that the full lifting of the blockade, returning us illegally occupied territory of Guantanamo, and full respect for the sovereignty of Cuba and compensation for damage caused to the economy and people - all this is crucial to move towards normalization of relations - said Rodriguez at the press conference in Washington.

Bruno Rodriguez thanked the American leader for taking steps to weaken sanctions against Cuba and called for Congress to consider the possibility of lifting the embargo.

Although, today, as many newspapers say, there are still many questions that have to be answered: are the Americans to lift the trade embargo from Cuba projects? Will Havana follow the path of further democratization? And how to change the lives of ordinary Cubans who earn measly $ 20 a month?

British Daily Mail doubt that the answer to these questions would be found quickly, arguing that although the opening of the embassies is the step forward, there is still a huge gap between the two countries.
TV and Radio company Marti, working for Cuba from the United States, said that the restoration of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba could lead to a discussion of numerous claims for compensation from both sides - expropriated property in Cuba on the one hand, or damage caused by US’ economic embargo to Cuba on another.

According to the broadcasting company, currently, the Office of the US assets registered abroad received almost 6000 claims from Cubans and foreigners about the lost or expropriated property in Cuba, estimated by the plaintiffs in the total amount of 7.8 billion US dollars.

Broadcasting company said that although the issue of lifting the embargo entirely depends on the US Congress, the clarification of issues of mutual claims will depend on the bilateral agreement between the countries with a long history of disagreements on key issues.

At the same time, the former US Treasury Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, who was born in Havana in 1953, speaking at a meeting of the Atlantic Council last week, said: "If we focus on the past, then we will stay there for 50 years. Now we need to look to the future. "


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