Statements by the Foreign Ministry on President Obama’s visit to Cuba


HAVANA, Cuba – The Director General of the United States Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Josefina Vidal, made statements in Havana to the press on the visit to Cuba of US President Barak Obama on March 21 and 22.

The Cuban official said the U.S. head of state will be welcomed by the Government of Cuba and its people, with the hospitality that characterizes it.

It will be an opportunity for President Obama to appreciate Cuban reality and continue holding exchanges on the possibilities of expanding bilateral dialogue and cooperation on issues of mutual interest to both countries, she pointed out, adding that this visit will be another step towards improving relations between Cuba and the United States.

Of course, continued Vidal, to achieve the normalization of these bilateral relations, key outstanding issues pending, including the lifting of the blockade and the return to Cuba of the territory illegally occupied by the Naval Base in Guantanamo, would need to be resolved.

The visit of the U.S. head of state, said Vidal, will also be an opportunity to ratify to the willingness of the Cuban government to continue making progress in building a new relationship, based on the observance of the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and the principles of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, and based on respect for differences and on the mutual benefits derived from the historic, cultural and family ties that have united the two countries and peoples, concluded Vidal.

After the statement, the Director General of the United States Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened the meeting to journalists present to answer their questions.