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U.S. Presidential Leadership in Favor of Maintaining Rapprochement with Cuba

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U.S. Presidential Leadership in Favor of Maintaining Rapprochement with CubaHAVANA, Cuba, Oct 15 (acn) When there are only three months left for the end of his term of office, Barack Obama issued a presidential guideline with which he hopes to leave his successor a guide for the continuity of bilateral relations with Cuba.

This is the first time that the U.S. government issues a public indication to his executive institutions about the process of rapprochement announced by presidents Raul Castro and Obama at noon on December 17, 2014.
Although the head of state himself considered on Friday the document as a significant step to continue efforts with regard to Cuba, the normalization of bonds will take time, particularly as long as there are obstacles like the framework of laws that in that nation regulates the economic, commercial and financial blockade against the island since 1962.
This guideline adopts a comprehensive approach that includes the entire government to promote commitment to the Cuban people and government and achieve that our opening is irreversible, asserted the occupant of the White House.
The document approved by Obama acknowledges the Cuban government as the legitimate representative of the interests of the people, the sovereignty and self-determination of the island, and refers to the areas where there are differences they hope to tackle by way of participation and dialogue.
As part of the approach of the presidential leadership, the Obama administration announced on Friday the fifth package of measures since D17, which Intend to modify the implementation of the U.S. blockade on the island and although positive like the previous ones they are of very limited nature.
A meticulous study of the new regulations of the departments of the Treasury and of Commerce explains that most of them are aimed at expanding transactions already authorized in previous announcements, and that depend on political will for their practical implementation.
For example, in the area d health, the development of joint medical research is authorized, with commercial purposes or not, between persons and entities of the two nations, as well as the import, production, sale and distribution in the United States of Cuban pharmaceutical products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Also among regulations announced are the import, promotion, sale and distribution in the United States of Cuban pharmaceutical products approved by the FDA, as well as the opening of bank accounts on the island by persons and entities of that country linked to that activity.
However, in spite of these regulations by the Treasury and Commerce, so far the establishment of joint enterprises for the development and commercialization of Cuban pharmaceutical products is not allowed, so it will be necessary to wait for more specific regulations to weigh up the viability of this measure.
In addition, the limit of up to 400 dollars, 100 of them in tobacco and rum, for the import into the United States of Cuban products for personal use and the sending of remittances to nationals of third countries for their trips to, from or inside Cuba, as long as they are included in the 12 categories approved by the U.S. law, was eliminated.
Regulations include the elimination of restrictions to foreign ships to enter ports of that country for the loading and unloading of merchandise 180 days after having docked in a Cuban port with commercial purposes, as long as goods transported to Cuba are not designated as controlled by the Department of Commerce, which appear in an extensive regulation of more than 400 pages.
The fifth package of measures of Obama doesn't include any new regulation in terms of investment, a question in which the Cuban party has insisted, pointing out the blockade as the main obstacle for companies of that nation to invest in Cuba.
Obama's presidential guideline replaces the previous ones that included secret plans against Cuba, and constitutes a positive step in the rapprochement between both nations.
Even though the U.S. administration approved in March that Cuba uses dollars in its international financial transactions, the Caribbean island has not so far been able to make payments to third parties in cash or deposits in cash in that currency.
Josefina Vidal, director general of the United States Department of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, has reiterated that President Barack Obama has wide prerogatives to act in the economic-commercial sphere, as he did in telecommunications, and could authorize the export of more products to Cuba, as well as allow U.S. investments on the island.
Obama could normalize bank relations by allowing that Cuban banks have correspondent accounts in financial institutions of that country.

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