US to ease embargoes on Cuba

US may ease Cuba's embergo although Washington is not awaiting rapid changes on human rights, says US official

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

US President Barack Obama stands with Cuba's President Raul Castro before a bilateral meeting at the United Nations headquarters

Updated Nov 4, 2015

US President Barack Obama could further ease the US trade embargo with Cuba, and Washington would not first request human rights achievement from Havana, a senior official from State Department said on Tuesday.

In September this year, Obama’s administration announced regulations to ease restrictions, although lifting the full embargo is bound to the US Congress, which is dominated by Republicans, mostly opposing the recent rapprochement.

David Thorne, a senior adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry said that Obama has time and again used executive authority to relax the embargo as part of US opening to Cuba, and more much possible changes could be made, if Cuba can absorb those made to date.

"We are making progress. We are making regulatory changes. We'll make more," Thorne told Reuters in an interview.

Thorne also added that, Washington was not awaiting for a rapid change on human rights.

"As in other parts of the world, we are really trying to also say: Let's find out how we can work together and not always say that human rights are the first things that we have to fix before anything else," Thorne said.

According to the dissident Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation, Cuban police detained 1,093 political activists in short-term detention in October, the highest monthly total this year. 

Cuban company sign deal with US Carrier

President Obama has eased travel restrictions on Americans, also permitted to authorised telecommunication companies and trade with Cuba’s developing private sector among other other steps.  

Cuban state telecommunications Company Etecsa on Monday signed a roaming deal with US carrier Sprint Corp.

Although Cuba has been slow to cope with the US business, showing its inability to use dollars or receive US credits amid the embargo. 

"The pace is really going to be set by the Cubans and we are satisfied with how they want to do this," said Thorne, who did not specify what outcome might emerge.  

In 1961, US-Cuba relations were severed following efforts of the US to topple the communist Cuban regime. Since then, the US has imposed a set of restrictions and sanctions on Cuba, claiming to force the communist government to enforce democracy and improve human rights in the country.

By re-opening their embassies in July, after a half-century estrangement, the United States and Cuba marked a new era in their diplomatic ties.


TRTWorld and agencies