Cuban officials wants to sign accords with U.S. before Obama exit

havana-live- Josefina Vidal, the Cuban foreign ministry's director of US affairsHAVANA, Dec. 8th The government of Cuba is seeking to secure at least 12 more pacts with the United States through the administration of lame duck President Barack Obamabefore Donald Trump takes control of the White House.

President-elect Trump has vowed to attack the détente between Washington and Havana, brought about during the Obama administration.

Not long after the passing of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, Trump threatened to “terminate the deal,” with the Caribbean island nation.

As Trump was preparing to assume office on January 20, Josefina Vidal, the Cuban foreign ministry’s director of US affairs, told a news conference in Havana on Wednesday that the country was hoping to ink more deals with the US in various fields, including seismology and meteorology.

“At the moment, we are negotiating 12 more (accords) with the aim to be able to conclude and sign a majority of them,” she said.

She further noted that the country would not make any concessions in its negotiations with the US, yet urging the Trump administration to cherish the normalization of ties between the two countries.

“Cuba would hope the new US government takes into account the results we have achieved… that are backed by the majority of the Cuban population (and) US citizens,” Vidal said, noting that negotiations with the US had to be held “within the respect of the existing differences and without having to make any kind of concession to the principles in which Cuba firmly believes.”

She added that the number of US visitors to Cuba rose 68 percent in the first 10 months of this year to 208,000.

Meanwhile, more than 100 Cuban small business owners sent a letter to the president-elect, urging him not to roll back an ease placed on restrictions over travel, trade and investment.

“Additional measures to increase travel, trade and investment will benefit our companies, the Cuban people and US national interests,” they wrote.

The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 and placed an official embargo against the country in 1962.

The two countries became ideological foes soon after the 1959 revolution in Cuba, which brought Fidel Castro to power, and their ties remained hostile even after the end of the Cold War.

Washington and Havana, however, restored diplomatic relations after 18 months of secret talks that led to a joint announcement on December 17, 2014.

Obama, who visited Havana in March, has been the first sitting US president to visit Cuba in nearly a century.

While campaigning for the 2016 presidential election, Trump expressed conflicting views about the US deal with Cuba, threatening to reverse it on some occasions and renegotiate it on some others.