Cuba/US: Relations thaw but no end to embargo

When I blogged a few days ago about the Cuban solidarity movement in Britain I may have jumped the gun in suggesting that the restrictions placed on the Cuba by the United States showed no signs of being lifted under the new Obama administration.

Truth is that relations, or the lack of, between the two countries are thawing but crucially the issue of ending the trade blockade, rightly or wrongly, is not on the agenda according to the US.

Being honest, I really don’t feel educated enough to comment on whether the blockade serves any real purpose but common consensus appears to be that it has done more harm than good.  At the Rock Around The Blockade meeting, I was constantly being told that Cuba is surviving even with the restrictions. But obviously even they feel that life would be easier for many Cubans without the blockade.

In lifting some travel restrictions and allowing Cuban-Americans with relatives on the island to send them more money, the Obama administration has offered a hand. It will now be up to the Cubans to reciprocate and according to president Raul Castro, the country is willing to discuss everything.

And that bodes well for the future of this most intriguing of Caribbean islands.

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