‘Cuba under no illusions regarding US ties’

Havana, July 22 (IANS) Cuba is taking a cautious and realistic approach to its renewed diplomatic ties with the United States. The two reopened their respective embassies in each other’s capital after more than 50 years of confrontation and animosity, a media report said on Wednesday.

Esteban Morales, a Cuban writer, political observer and economist, said, “Cuba is under no illusions regarding their relations with the US.”
“Reopening embassies will simply make it easier for the two governments to communicate formally after five decades of hostility,” Xinhua reported quoting Morales, founder and director of the University of Havana’s Center for Hemispheric and US Studies.
Morales said, the history of the US-Cuba ties is full of instances of the US disrespecting the norms of diplomacy.
In the absence of diplomatic ties, the two countries maintained so-called interests sections, which the US used to distribute propaganda and recruit disaffected Cubans to take part in covert anti-government schemes.
Washington is interested in repairing its ties with Cuba. It has a complicated hemisphere, which is making progress through new organisations and policies that do not involve the US.
The current rapprochement between the former foes is a unique opportunity, especially for Cuba to negotiate normalised ties with Washington.
It will not be possible as long as the US-led trade embargo against Cuba remains in force, and the US side refuses to withdraw from the Guantanamo naval base it has maintained on the island, both demands the Cuban government has repeatedly made.
According to the White House, only Congress can lift the embargo.