The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden confirmed in an interview with the Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, published this week, that the U.S. government hopes reforms like the new law of investments in Cuba will be accompanied by an “enlargement of rights and freedom”of citizens.
The interview published in the independent online newspaper 14ymedio, which was released last week by Sánchez, is focused on the government’s policy of Barack Obama regarding the Caribbean island, which, according to Biden, is priority number one.
Sanchez asked Vice President Biden about the possibility of a policy change towards Cuba with the new Foreign Investment Law, about restrictions on internet access and the possibility that the U.S. could invade the island to overthrow the government.
Biden told the blogger that the U.S. policy concerning Cuba “is guided by a commitment to support the desire of the Cuban people to freely determine their own future, promote U.S. interests and promoting universal values.”
In that sense he considered that the measures, put in place by the Obama administration to facilitate travel, remittances and personal contacts “are reducing the gap between divided Cuban families and promoting the free flow of information and humanitarian assistance to the Cuban people.”
In his opinion, these measures have had “a positive impact and contributed to the welfare of the Cuban people”. He considered that working with the Cuban government on matters of mutual interest has benefited the citizens of both countries.
“We lay down these policy changes without stoping defending our values and promoting democratic reforms in Cuba,” said the U.S. Vice President.
Regarding the reforms undertaken by the government of Raúl Castro, he indicated that the U.S. expected that efforts to attract foreign investment to the new law “are accompanied by an expansion of the rights and freedom of the Cuban people to reach its full potential.”
In the interview made by Yoani Sanchez during a visit in Washington, the U.S. official acknowledged that in Cuba there is “a positive move in some areas” and as an example he mentioned the increased ability of Cubans to travel abroad after the reform migratory effect in January 2013.
But he noted that the U.S. remains “deeply concerned about the continued detention and the mistreatment of Cubans for exercising freedom, who are protected in other parts of the American continent.”
Joe Biden assures the Cuban independent journalist that the U.S. has no plans to overthrow the Cuban government and said the position of the U.S. government “is clear: only Cubans can or should determine the future of Cuba.”
He also emphasized that the case of the U.S. contractor Alan Gross, who is imprisoned in Cuba, “is a major obstacle to improving relations” between the two countries.
“We can be as creative as we want with our policy, but the case of Alan continues being at the top of the list of issues to be solved. He should be paroled for humanitarian reasons,” he stressed.
Gross has been imprisoned since 2009 in Cuba, where he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for subversive activities by employing illegal telecommunications systems.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose, Costa Rica