Monday, August 31, 2009

Bill Richarsond in Cuba. Another craaaack to the door of embargo?



Press conference at Havana.
In 1997, during my visit to the U.S. Congress to address the problem of Cuba, I was nearly an hour talking with Bill Richardson on diplomatic relations with the island and noticed that it was his firm conviction since that time which now poses in Havana next many congressmen and senators who supported him for years. Gualterio Nunez Estrada, Sarasota, Florida, 34,233.

Make recommendations to Obama, reported at Havana U.S. Gov.

Plan discussed in Cuba "interactions" to normalize ties, says Bill Richardson
Gerardo Arreola
Correspondent
Havana, August 28. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the press reported Monday that Cuban authorities discussed here with a plan of reciprocal actions to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States and which will bring your trip and make recommendations to President Barack Obama.
Richardson ended a five-day stay on the island without first talking to the Castro brothers, but said he appreciated "a very good, the best I've seen in many years to fix" the half-century conflict and that his trip was "very productive".
Very cautious and looking for accuracy in most of their responses, the veteran Democratic negotiator said he came to Cuba "as governor of New Mexico, not as a representative of the Obama administration".
He underscored that does not require a special envoy to Cuba and that Washington does not believe that he will have a role in the process. "It is the business of the Department of State".
Richardson spoke twice with Ricardo Alarcon, head of Parliament, an expert on relations with the United States and a member of the powerful Communist Party Politburo.
They were not officially meetings between governments, but the contact senior politician who has had both countries during the administration of Obama.
Richardson warned that any solution will take time and will be difficult: "Fifty years of bad relationship can not be solved in a year". But he said Alarcon told the Cubans "considering" the plan.
The plan is that, before entering substantive issues as the economic blockade and the naval base at Guantanamo, the two nations would have to give "humanitarian steps": U.S. should implement the measures announced by Obama last April (as the release of travel and remittances from Cuban exiles), allowing sports exchanges, cultural, scientific, academic and business and travel for Americans to the island.
Cuba should remove bureaucratic restrictions and high tariffs that impede the travel of U.S. citizens to accept a U.S. proposal to have greater mobility diplomats from both countries and initiate a "informal dialogue with cubanoestadunidenses".
Richardson avoided answering directly a question about who exactly would be the partners of Havana between the Cuban immigrants in the U.S., but acknowledged that before coming to the island was reunited with his friends from the community "who are in politics".
He admitted that he spoke with Alarcon of Cuba's proposal to exchange prisoners on the island opponents of the five Cuban agents imprisoned in the U.S., but the emphasis was on those "humanitarian steps".
Now the "main problem" is that the U.S. has other priorities and would have to pay more attention to Cuba and Latin America, while in the island "lack flexibility and reciprocity should be more" to the actions of Washington, said the American governor.
He said he was "very pleased with the high level" which was received here (an equivalent vice chancellor and other officials, besides Alarcón).
He said he knew beforehand he would not talk with Raul or Fidel Castro, but that the former president sent him on Thursday night a "personal message".

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