Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Wednesday acknowledged “very sensible progress” in cooperation with the United States, particularly in the area of migration, despite the persistence of the US embargo against the island.
“We have made very sensible strides aimed at establishing bilateral cooperation on the path to the implementation of immigration agreements between the two countries.
But the Cuban president recalled that “the fundamental defining feature of our bilateral relationship remains the economic embargo,” which has been in place since 1962.
Washington and Havana resumed discussions on the theme of migration in 2022, particularly in the context of the record immigration of Cubans to the United States.
The U.S. Embassy in Havana is set to resume issuing visas as usual in January after a nearly five-year hiatus. The service was relaunched in May, but on a limited basis.
The U.S. also granted 20,000 visas to Cubans by 2022, according to agreements reached between the two countries in 1994, but that has been a dead letter in recent years.
The Cuban president on Wednesday touted the technical assistance provided by the United States during a massive fire that destroyed a fuel depot in Matazas (center) and two million dollars in aid provided by Washington after Hurricane Ian devastated part of the area. of the island in September.
“This aid was given without conditions,” the Cuban president said.
However, he accused Washington of “promoting an overtly subversive policy” and making “uncertain efforts” against his country.
Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration has maintained 243 coercive measures against Cuba by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump (2017-2021), in a policy of “maximum pressure” against the island, condemning the head of state.
The Cuban president also acknowledged that 2022 will be a “particularly complicated year” for the island due to the US embargo, the international crisis and “our own incompetence and our mistakes”.
“I feel great dissatisfaction with the fact that the president of the country has not been able to get the results that the Cuban people need to achieve the long-awaited and expected prosperity,” he said self-deprecatingly.
Diaz-Canel said he hoped 2023 would be “a great year”. “But getting there requires a comprehensive plan that requires shaking off inertia, shedding bureaucracy, breaking down barriers and overcoming complacency,” he added.