Cuba and Obama

Statement by the Revolutionary Government of Cuba & President Obama’s Letter to Cuba’s President

Flag of Cuba

July 1, 2015

With the reestablishment of diplomatic ties with the United States, the lifting of the blockade, among other issues, will be essential to the ultimate normalization of relations.

On July 1, 2015, the President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, and the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, exchanged letters through which they confirmed the decision to reestablish diplomatic relations between the two countries and open permanent diplomatic missions in their respective capitals, from July 20, 2015.
That same day, the official opening ceremony of the Embassy of Cuba in Washington will be held, in the presence of a Cuban delegation led by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla and composed of distinguished representatives of Cuban society.

By formalizing this step, Cuba and the United States ratified the intention to develop respectful and cooperative relations between both peoples and governments, based on the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and International Law, in particular the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations.

The Government of Cuba has decided to reestablish diplomatic relations with the United States in full exercise of its sovereignty, invariably committed to the ideals of independence and social justice, and in solidarity with the just causes of the world, and reaffirming each of the principles for which our people have shed their blood and ran all risks, led by the historic leader of the Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz.

With the reestablishment of diplomatic relations and the opening of embassies, the first phase concludes of what will be a long and complex process towards the normalization of bilateral ties, as part of which a set of issues will have to be resolved arising from past policies, still in force, which affect the Cuban people and nation.

There can be no normal relations between Cuba and the United States as long as the economic, commercial and financial blockade that continues to be rigorously applied, causing damages and scarcities for the Cuban people, is maintained, it is the main obstacle to the development of our economy, constitutes a violation of International Law and affects the interests of all countries, including those of the United States.

To achieve normalization it will also be indispensable that the territory illegally occupied by the Guantanamo Naval Base is returned, that radio and television transmissions to Cuba that are in violation of international norms and harmful to our sovereignty cease, that programs aimed at promoting subversion and internal destabilization are eliminated, and that the Cuban people are compensated for the human and economic damages caused by the policies of the United States.

In recalling the outstanding issues to be resolved between the two countries, the Cuban Government recognizes the decisions adopted thus far by President Obama, to exclude Cuba from the list of state sponsors of international terrorism, to urge the U.S. Congress to lift the blockade and to begin to take steps to modify the application of aspects of this policy in exercise of his executive powers.

As part of the process towards the normalization of relations, in turn, the foundations of ties that have not existed between our countries in all their history will need to be constructed, in particular, since the military intervention of the United States 117 years ago, in the independence war that Cuba fought for nearly three decades against Spanish colonialism.

These relations must be founded on absolute respect for our independence and sovereignty; the inalienable right of every State to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system, without interference in any form; and sovereign equality and reciprocity, which constitute inalienable principles of International Law.

The Government of Cuba reiterates its willingness to maintain a respectful dialogue with the Government of the United States and develop relations of civilized coexistence, based on respect for the differences between the two governments and cooperation on issues of mutual benefit.

Cuba will continue immersed in the process of updating its economic and social model, to build a prosperous and sustainable socialism, advance the development of the country and consolidate the achievements of the Revolution.
Havana- July 1, 2015

 President Obama’s Letter to Cuba

The President of the United States Barack Obama, sent a letter today to his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, to confirmed the re-establishment of the diplomatic relations and and the reopening of the corresponding permanent diplomatic missions.

THE WHITE HOUSE                                                  June 30, 2015
WASHINGTON

His Excellency
Raul Castro Ruz
President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba

Havana

Dear Mr. President:

I am pleased to confirm, following high-level discussions between our two governments, and in accordance with international law practice, that the United States of America and the Republic of Cuba have decided to re-establish diplomatic relations and permanent diplomatic missions in our respective countries on July 20, 2015. This is an important step forward in the process of normalizing between our two countries and peoples that we initiated last December.

In making this decision, the Unites States is encouraged by the reciprocal intention to develop respectful and cooperative relations between our two peoples and governments consistent with the Purposes and Principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, including those related to sovereign equality of States, settlement of international disputes by peaceful means, respect for the territorial integrity and political independence of States, respect for equal rights and self-determinations of peoples, non-interference in the internal affairs of States, and promotion and encouragement of respect for human tights and fundamental freedoms for all.

The United States and Cuba are each parties to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, signed at Vienna on April 18, 1961, and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, signed at Vienna On April 24, 1963. I am pleased to confirmed the understanding of the United States that these agreements will apply to diplomatic and consular relations between our two countries.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

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