Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Biden US Wants”Real Change” in Cuba

    Biden: US Wants”Real Change” in Cuba
    May 8, 2013

    HAVANA TIMES — US Vice President Joe Biden said today that Washington
    believes that Cuba has made some “small encouraging signs” of change but
    that the Obama administration still wants to see “real change” leading
    to a “democratic” future of the island.

    At the same time, he warned that the imprisonment of US agent Alan Gross
    in Havana is still one of the main obstacles to a dialogue with Cuba,
    reported DPA news.

    “We have seen some small encouraging signs as the release of political
    prisoners, the lifting of travel restrictions and small economic
    reforms,” ??Biden said in his keynote speech to the 43rd Conference of
    the Americas at the State Department in Washington.

    However, he criticized what he called the continuing “abuse and arrest”
    of people who want to express an opinion different from the official
    policy of the island.

    Therefore, he said, although the Obama administration has made some
    gestures toward liberalization of Cuba travel and remittances for
    Cuban-Americans, the ultimate goal is still seeing a democratic island
    and that the US would continue working in that direction.

    “What we really want to do is encourage the next level of cooperation in
    Cuba, (encourage) real changes, significant, permanent, the type of
    peaceful democratic change and courageous that Cubans like (the late
    dissident) Oswaldo Paya have defended,” said Biden.

    That is why “we will continue taking steps to support the Cuban people
    and the prosperous democratic future they deserve,” he said.

    In any dialogue with Havana the case of Alan Gross continues to weigh
    heavy, Biden reiterated.

    The Vice President recalled that even “many of those who support more
    involvement in Cuba” have spoken out in favor of Gross’s release and he
    assured that the Obama administration is “working on it”.