Foreign Minister of Jamaica hails Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba and appeals for the end of blockade

JAMAICA, March 24, 2016. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, hailed US President Barack Obama for his historic visit to Cuba, and reiterated the willingness of Jamaica to continue advocating for the end of blockade against Cuba.

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In statement to the press, the recently appointed Chancellor, said that “this visit is of special significance, not only as this will be the first time that a sitting president of the United States will be visiting Cuba in almost 90 years, but more so because of the bold and courageous step taken by the two countries on December 17, 2014, commencing a journey towards the normalisation of relations.”

Likewise, the Minister commended both President Obama and President Raul Castro “for their fixity of purpose, commitment and the political will to forge ahead in the improvement of bilateral relations in the best interest of their countries”.

“We laud the positive developments that have taken place over the past year, including the opening of diplomatic missions in Washington and Havana, the easing of travel and financial restrictions, greater telecommunication links and, more recently, an agreement to restore air services between both countries. Such advances augur well for Cuba’s further reintegration into the hemispheric family of nations and the strengthening of the integration process in the Americas,” she said.

In relations to the policy of blockade the United States has imposed to Cuba for more than half a century, Johnson Smith reiterated Jamaica’s commitment “to the principles of sovereignty and respect for all nations remain firm, as we look forward to further efforts to bring an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed against Cuba over 50 years ago.”

“It is our fervent hope that the exchange of views between President Obama and President Castro during this historic visit will mark another turning point in US/Cuba relations, which will promote greater stability and growth in the Caribbean region and the wider hemisphere and lead to tangible benefits for the Cuban people and the peoples of the Americas,” concluded. (Cubavsbloqueo/ Embacuba Jamaica)


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