+ (external - login to view)- (external - login to view)08:54, April 20, 2009
It is still "way down the road" for the United States to end its economic embargo on Cuba, despite the recent softening of rhetoric between the two countries ,said a White House economic aide on Sunday.
"That's way down the road, and it's going to depend on what Cuba did, Cuba does going forward," said Lawrence Summers, U.S. President Barack Obama's top advisor, at a NBC TV program.
He noted that any substantial changes to the U.S.-Cuba economic relationship would be "decided on the basis of Cuba's behavior," and on the basis of the steps that the Cubans choose to take and not to take "in terms of their policies in this hemisphere."
The decisions made by the Obama administration on Cuba "are really going to be grounded in what's best for the United States," he added.
His remarks cooled down the heat stirred by a recent remarkable change in tone between leaders of the two countries.
President Obama said on Friday while attending the Americas Summit in Trinidad and Tobago that he looked forward to the ice-breaking of the half-century of hostility between the United States and Cuba.
"Let me be clear: I am not interested in talking for the sake of talking. But I do believe that we can move U.S.-Cuban relations in a new direction," he said.
"I am prepared to have my administration engage with the Cuban government on a wide range of issues -- from drugs, to migration and economic issues, to human rights, free speech and democratic reform," he added.
Meanwhile, Cuban leader Raul Castro said in response to the U.S. appeal: "We are open, whenever they want, to discussing everything: human rights, freedom of the press, political prisoners -- everything they want to discuss."
I for one hope it happens.
but i hope Cuba does NOT allow all the American companies to just come right in and stake claim. Otherwise Cuba will lose it's uniquness..