Press Release on US Government announcements regarding its policy towards Cuba, dated 14 October 2016

Obama’s new measures are positive but of a very limited nature.

New York, 17 October 2016. The United States Government issued a Presidential Policy Directive on Cuba and announced a group of measures to modify the application of some aspects of the Embargo, which will come into force on Monday, 17 October.

The directive is a significant step forward within the process towards the lifting of the Embargo and the improvement of the relations between the United States and Cuba.

It conveys recognition to Cuba and its government as a legitimate and equal partner, as well as, the benefits a relationship of civilized co-existence would offer to both countries and peoples, among the great differences between both governments.

It is relevant for the Directive to recognize Cuba’s independence, sovereignty and self-determination, which shall continue to be underlying principles to attain progress in the relations between both countries.

Nonetheless, the Directive does not conceal the purpose to promote changes in Cuba’s economic, political and social ordering.

It does not conceal either the attempt to continue developing in our country interference programs that meet the interests of the United States, involving sectors of the Cuban society.

Cuba will continue to reiterate its will to foster relations of respect and cooperation, under the basis of full equality and reciprocity, and without interference of any kind whatsoever.

The measures announced today by the Departments of the Treasury and Commerce are positive but of a very limited nature. They mainly aim at opening transactions already authorized in previous regulatory packages.

Prohibitions on US investments in Cuba are kept, except in the telecommunications sector, which was agreed upon in 2015.

There is no broadening of US exports to Cuba, beyond the limited sales previously authorized and which exclude the key sectors of the Cuban economy.

Restrictions on Cuban imports in the United States are kept, especially those stemming from the state sector, with the only exception of pharmaceutical products, which have been authorized on this occasion.

In like manner, new measures were not announced either in the financial area. The prohibition to open Cuban correspondent accounts in US Banks is kept.

In general, the new measures are more beneficial to the United States, than to Cuba and the Cuban people.

The reality is that the Embargo persists.

(Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations)