October 25 2016
Talk by Josefina Vidal, director general for the United States at the Ministry of Foreign Relations (MINREX), during an event against the blockade organized by Cuban youth at the University of Havana, October 17, 2016, Year 58 of the Revolution
(Council of State transcript / GI translation)
Good morning everyone.
Photo: Yander Zamora
Thank you all very much for the invitation, to add my voice to those of young people gathered here, and the people of Cuba, as I have already done online, on social media, to the ‘Cuba votes against the blockade’ event; because the blockade harms the Cuban people, damages Cuba as a whole, damages the functioning of our economy, damages Cuba’s relations with third countries and those of third countries with Cuba, and even damages the relations we could have with the United States itself . For all these reasons we will vote against the blockade, and those who have not, still have the chance to on the “Cuba contra el bloqueo” (Cuba against the blockade) website.
United States-Cuba Normalization
Before having a conversation – as I understand that this is a conversation with you and that I will take questions from you, I do not want this to be a monologue – I would like to share a few introductory thoughts – I will not be very extensive in my introduction – considering that just three days ago, there were announcements made in the United States related to Cuba, there were two announcements: first, a presidential policy directive, entitled ‘United States-Cuba Normalization’ and secondly, the fifth package of measures to modify the application of certain aspects of the blockade.
There have been discussions on this, since last Friday, at the Foreign Ministry, through the Cuban press, on digital sites like Cubadebate, but I think it is important, as we had a little more time over the weekend to think about this, as these measures were announced just last Friday, October 14, to share with you some thoughts and some preliminary conclusions, which we have reached following the study and analysis of these two announcements.
Firstly, I would like to refer to the presidential policy directive on Cuba. It is the first directive on Cuba approved and issued by President Obama who, as you know, is set to leave office in a few months, on January 20, 2017 to be exact, when a new administration, resulting from the elections to be held on November 8, will assume the leadership of that country, that is to say very soon.
Read more at: Obama to leave office but the blockade remains