NewsLatin AmericaThe US extends the state of national emergency with respect to Cuba for another year

The US extends the state of national emergency with respect to Cuba for another year

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, extended for one more year this Friday the state of national emergency with respect to Cuba that prevents the unauthorized entry of any vessel registered in the United States into territorial waters of the island.

The declaration, issued in 1996 after the shooting down by Havana of two small planes registered in Florida and with members of the Cuban-American organization Brothers to the Rescue on board, is extended from year to year by the president in power. In 2004, the measure was expanded to cut funds to the Cuban government along with other modifications in 2016 and 2018.

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“The Cuban government has not demonstrated that it will refrain from the excessive use of force against US vessels or aircraft that may participate in commemorative activities or peaceful protests in northern Cuba,” insists the proclamation signed by Biden.

In a letter sent to Congress announcing the extension, the US president stressed that “the need to continue with this national emergency persists, based on a disturbance or threat of disturbance of the international relations of the United States related to Cuba.”

“The unauthorized entry of any US-registered vessel into Cuban territorial waters continues to be detrimental to US foreign policy,” the text states.

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In the proclamation, the US president also warns that the unauthorized entry of vessels flying the flag of his country could “facilitate a massive migration from Cuba.” “It remains the policy of the United States that mass migration from Cuba would endanger the national security of the United States by posing a disruption or threat of disruption of US international relations.”

Cuba and the United States have maintained tense relations for more than sixty years. During the so-called “thaw”, under the governments of former presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, both countries reestablished ties in December 2014 and reopened their embassies in Washington and Havana the following year.

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The arrival at the White House of Donald Trump, in 2017, turned around US foreign policy towards Cuba, trapped between the tightening of the US embargo and an endemic economic crisis, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The difficult humanitarian situation on the island has caused an unprecedented exodus to the USwhere more than 224,000 migrants have arrived from October 2021 to date, in numbers that dwarf previous large migrations.

The Biden administration has given some steps towards an improvement in relationsespecially on the immigration issue, but still maintains many of the restrictions put into effect by Trump.

Source: VOA Español


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