HAVANA – The Cuban government on Wednesday expressed its wish that the next U.S. president respect the support of the majority of the U.S. people for lifting the economic embargo and Washington’s policy changes vis-a-vis the communist island.
“We hope that the next U.S. president takes into account and is consistent with the opinions and the desires of ... broad and majority sectors of U.S. society” regarding those policies, said the assistant director for the United States at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Gustavo Machin, in Havana.
The official was responding to questions at a press conference regarding a potential victory by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has threatened to reverse the bilateral normalization process pushed by the Barack Obama administration.
Machin noted that recent surveys have shown that a high percentage of Americans, including Cubans living in the United States, are in favor of lifting the embargo that Washington has kept in place against the island for half a century.
The surveys also show that the U.S. public supports the policies adopted by Washington within the framework of the rapprochement process begun in December 2014 and implemented in July 2015 with the mutual reopening of embassies in the two nations.
“We’re not going to get involved in the U.S. election process or in the results,” said Machin, but he added that the political thaw “is based on equality and reciprocity.”
“Cuba has always made clear that Cuba’s internal affairs are not on the negotiating table, as they respond to internal decisions of Cuba and the Cubans. We call upon the next U.S. president to comply with those principles that – in addition – stem not from Cuba but from international law,” he said.
On Sept. 16, Trump promised at a campaign rally in Miami that if he is elected on Nov. 8, he will reverse the U.S. opening to Cuba as long as there are no “religious and political freedoms” on the island.