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Ambassador applauds Obama’s announcement

Cuba’s Ambassador to Barbados has applauded the renewal of diplomatic relations between the Spanish-speaking Caribbean country and the United States.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY at the Embassy of Cuba, Ambassador Francisco Fernádez Peña said the decision was the best news his country had received in the last 56 years.

Cuban Ambassador Francisco Fernádez Peña

Cuban Ambassador Francisco Fernádez Peña

“This would be useful for Cuba and the rest of the region because we can now do many things as an integrated state. It means new opportunities from all points of view. From an economic point of view, there are many potentials for commerce in an exchange of goods and services. It is also important to get access to the US technology and Cuba’s technology . . . ,” Peña said.

In a live statement, Obama announced a major loosening of travel and economic restrictions on Cuba and also stated that the two nations agreed to reopen embassies.

However, the ambassador said the action does not go far enough and called for an end to the US trade embargo on Cuba, saying it had caused enormous damage to that country’s economy and its people.

“That’s why, so far, it has been impossible to have normal relations even though our country has sent many messages in private and public to the government of USA, and to the different administrations, to have a reconciliation of normal relations despite the differences between the two governments,” the diplomat said.

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