Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    US not to ease sanctions against Cuba

    US not to ease sanctions against Cuba
    By Indo Asian News Service

    Washington, Nov 20 (IANS/EFE) US President Barack Obama will not take
    measures to ease the embargo on Cuba unless the government in Havana
    makes significant progress in democratic and economic reforms, his
    Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken said.
    Blinken made the comment Wednesday when Cuban-American Senator Marco
    Rubio (Democrat) asked him about rumours that Obama was going to use
    executive measures to relax part of the economic embargo on Cuba.
    “Unless Cuba is able to demonstrate that it is taking meaningful steps
    to move forward, I don’t see how we can move forward in the
    relationship,” Blinken said.
    He added that the president had ideas to help move Cuba in a democratic
    direction, but it all depended on Cuba and its actions.
    The deputy national security advisor has been nominated by Obama to
    become the State Department’s number two and was appearing before a
    Senate panel for his confirmation hearings.
    US academic and political circles have been debating the possibility of
    normalising relationships with Cuba, a country with which the US ended
    its diplomatic ties in 1961 and on which economic and trade embargoes
    were imposed in 1962.
    Blinken said that the “unjust imprisonment” in Cuba of American
    subcontractor Alan Gross since 2009 was also an obstacle for improving ties.
    In the Senate hearing, another American-Cuban Senator, Democrat Bob
    Menéndez, said that Cuba should not be allowed to attend the 2015 Summit
    of the Americas to be held in Panama.
    The US government is yet to confirm it will attend the summit but argues
    that Cuba should not be permitted as it does not comply with democratic

    Source: US not to ease sanctions against Cuba – Yahoo Maktoob News –