US promises support to “self-employed” in Cuba

HAVANA, may 22 The United States government promised on Thursday to support the “self-employed” in Cuba,

the private sector workers who have been gaining space in the island’s economy, in a salute to the Cuban people.

“America stands with you and seeks to support you in your quest for freedom, prosperity and a future of greater dignity,” wrote Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“We will support those who improve the lives of families and workers, the ‘self-employed’ who have forged their own economic path, and all those who are building a better Cuba, and a more auspicious tomorrow for themselves in Cuba,” he added.

The head of US diplomacy spoke on the 119th anniversary of the end of the US occupation of the island after the war for independence in Spain, which gave rise to the Republic of Cuba.

May 20, 1902 is not commemorated in Cuba since the revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959, which established a communist government, but it is remembered as a homeland date by the anti-Castro exile in the United States.

“True independence was achieved in January 1959,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez responded from Havana, deploring that Blinken, whom he described as “representative of imperialism,” celebrates the date.

“If your purposes were honest, you would be ashamed that your government strengthened the economic blockade in the context of covid-19. It could start by lifting the 243 Trump measures that cause deficiencies and suffering to Cuban families, “he added.

Former Republican President Donald Trump (2017-2021), the predecessor of Democrat Joe Biden, tightened the economic embargo that the United States has applied to Cuba since 1962 in order to force a regime change, erasing the rapprochement that Democrat Barack Obama had promoted since 2015.

The government of Biden, who was Obama’s vice president, pointed out that Cuba is not a priority, although he promised to “carefully review the changes made by the previous administration.”

Two influential Cuban-American senators, Democrat Bob Menéndez and Republican Marco Rubio, both staunch critics of Havana, also greeted the Cuban people on Thursday.

“After more than 60 years of persecution and repression, the Cuban people continue to deserve the full support of the free world,” Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tweeted.

“On Cuba’s Independence Day, we look forward to the day when Cuba is free and once again truly independent,” Rubio wrote in English on Twitter, along with a video in Spanish with images of opponents on the island.

Menéndez and Rubio, the highest-ranking Republican member of the Subcommittee on Foreign Relations for the Western Hemisphere, also presented a bill to prohibit US courts from recognizing trademarks “stolen by the Cuban regime.”

Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz introduced the bill in the House of Representatives. (www.explica.co)