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”.