Havana, Dec 19 - Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez reiterated that the blockade is the biggest obstacle to Cuba's development and the normalization of relations with the United States even with their irreconcilable differences.
In statements to reporters at the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Ninth Legislature of the National Assembly of People's Power (Cuban Parliament, ANPP), Rodríguez described the economic, commercial and financial blockade as brutal and genocidal.
He stressed that it is the longest and most comprehensive system of sanctions that has ever been applied against any country.
On relations between the two nations, Rodriguez recalled some progress was made after the announcement five years ago of the beginning of the long path towards the normalization of ties despite differences. December 17, 2014, also marked the return of the remaining three of the five Cuban anti-terrorists unjustly imprisoned in the United States, thus fulfilling the prophecy that they would return to their homeland made by the leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro.
He recalled that from that moment on the conditions for US citizens to visit the Caribbean nation improved as, despite the ban on tourism in Cuba being maintained, the right to travel was respected.
The head of Cuban diplomacy stressed that the current US government, headed by Donald Trump, has limited trips to the island to the minimum, returning to the times of the crusade against Cuban international medical cooperation and applying unconventional measures to prevent the supply of fuel to the country.
However, he noted that there is increasing support in the US for the lifting of the blockade. Therefore, he was optimistic even in the current circumstances of greater confrontation.
Rodríguez also considered that the changes that could occur in US foreign policy regarding Cuba depend to a greater extent on 'our own efforts, on the role of the historical generation and the unity of the people around the party.'
He added that a rupture of diplomatic ties with the United States was not expected, but ratified that just as Cuba is not intimidated by threats or blockade measures, it will not admit blackmail at the diplomatic level.
He stressed that Cuba's example, including its political influence, firmness, and ethics attached to its principles, is what causes the United States to hold the island responsible for the current situation in Latin America with largescale social and popular protests against neoliberalism. He also stressed that the world is moving towards a more multilateral system of international relations in the face of the United States' attempt to impose a unilateral and supremacist order. (PL)