October 17, 2016
The Blockade Remains Intact
The new presidential directive towards Cuba announced Friday by the White House includes steps by the departments of Trade and the Treasury to favor bilateral scientific collaboration, the import of Cuban products by US citizens allowed visiting the island and scholarships.
In a politically biased statement on Friday, the Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Jew adopted the new regulations authorizing scientific exchange in the medical field, the possibility that Cuban pharmaceuticals can be approved for import into the U.S, the granting of scholarships in the US for scientific research and religious activity, and new import opportunities for US travelers to Cuba. (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl9720.aspx#.VQ-dbJupThI.twitter)
“The steps we are taking will increase travel, commerce, communications and private business development between the United States and Cuba and promote positive change for Cuba’s citizens,” said Jacob J. Lew in his statement underlining that contact with the US is key to advance political and economic freedom for the Cuban people.
Key measures of the blockade including the authorization of private credit lines and the use by Cuba of the US dollar, as well as the recognition of the Cuban state companies in US-Cuba bilateral trade have not been resolved.
In a parliamentary meeting on October 13, Cuban lawmakers recalled that the island still cannot yet use the US dollar in any international transaction. Cuba has reiterated the importance of this to US President Barack Obama. Cuba also has encouraged Obama to make use of his executive powers to keep introducing changes in the US policy towards Cuba, which would make a contribution to the continuity of the current process in the future, according to Josefina Vidal, the general director for the United States at the Cuban Foreign Ministry.