Minister Flanagan welcomes the resumption of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba18 December 2014
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, has today welcomed the resumption of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.
Minister Flanagan said:
“I warmly welcome the historic decision announced yesterday by President Obama and by President Castro on the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.
“This is a positive step towards the normalisation of relations between the two countries.
“I look forward to speedy progress towards ending the long-standing economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba and towards the granting of civil, political and economic rights and freedoms to the people of Cuba by their government, as long advocated by Ireland and our partners in the European Union.
“I urge the government of Cuba to continue and to extend the economic and social reform process embarked on since 2011.
“I welcome also the agreement between the parties on the release of prisoners.”
Note for editors
- Yesterday’s announcement is a major step towards ending the US embargo on Cuba which Ireland and the EU have opposed, including in the context of the relevant resolution at the United Nations General Assembly, most recently on 28 October this year.
- We do not believe that the embargo has contributed to democratic reform in Cuba and have strongly opposed the extra-territorial application of its financial and other aspects. We recognise that, notwithstanding President Obama’s announcement, rescinding the relevant legislation (Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, Helms-Burton Act of 1996) requires Congressional approval.
- Ireland is committed to developing further our positive links with Cuba. Ireland’s Embassy in Mexico City is accredited on a non-residential basis to Havana while Cuba maintains a resident Embassy in Dublin. Trade with Cuba amounts to € 1.35 m in 2013, and we remain open to opportunities to increase commercial exchanges. Ireland’s Embassy is particularly active in promoting cultural links between Ireland and Cuba.