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#1 11/01/19 01:49:51

Registered: 11/02/18
Posts: 388

why he has prioritized the establishment of relations

By Matthew Rusling

WASHINGTON Cheap Michigan Wolverines Jersey , Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Friday held the second round of talks with Cuba aimed at re-establishing ties and thawing relations that had been chilled for 50 years, amid objection of many Republicans.

In the most sweeping change in the U.S.-Cuba relations in five decades, U.S. President Barack Obama announced in December his plans to normalize ties with Cuba in a move that sparked much controversy. The United States severed its diplomatic ties with Cuba in 1961 and has imposed an embargo on the island country ever since.

One of major topics at Friday's talks, which continued the negotiations that began in Havana last month, was discussing Cuba's request for its removal from the U.S. blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism.

But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that re-establishing diplomatic ties should not be linked to the list Cheap Miami Hurricanes Jersey , though the Obama administration has signalled its willingness to do so.

Limited progress was reportedly achieved at Friday's talks, as U.S. Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Roberta Jacobson, who leads the U.S. delegation, described the negotiations as "productive" and "encouraging". She said "meaningful" progress was made in resolving their differences though "serious disagreements remained."

Jacobson was optimistic that the two sides could open embassies before the Summit of the Americas slated for April 10-11.

Josefina Vidal, head of Cuban Foreign Ministry's U.S. division who leads the Cuban delegation Cheap Lsu Tigers Jersey , also told reporters that progress had been made in the talks despite remaining differences. She renewed the call for Cuba to be removed from the U.S. blacklist.

The re-establishment of diplomatic ties with Cuba is a hot-button issue in the United States. Many are applauding the development, echoing Obama's sentiments that it's time to normalize ties with the neighboring island nation as the world has moved on.

But many others, such as Republicans and a few Democrats, are slamming U.S. efforts to bury the hatchet with Cuba.

Marco Rubio, a Cuban American and Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere Cheap Kansas Jayhawks Jersey , said after December's initial announcement he would "make every effort to block this dangerous and desperate attempt by the president to burnish his legacy at the Cuban people's expense."

Critics blast Obama for what they bill as giving away the farm while receiving nothing in return.

The U.S. president is also questioned for why he has prioritized the establishment of relations with a country that, after the end of the Cold War more than two decades ago, no longer plays a major geopolitical role.

Ted Cruz, a Republican senator whose father hails from Cuba, said in December that Obama's plan to normalize relations with Cuba was a "tragic mistake."

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez Cheap Georgia Bulldogs Jersey , a son of Cuban immigrants and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also blasted the Obama administration's initial decision, calling it "misguided."

But while the Republican-controlled Congress cannot completely derail Obama's plans, Republican lawmakers can put up a series of roadblocks.

Ana Quintana, Heritage Foundation's research associate for Latin America Cheap Florida State Seminoles Jersey , said U.S. Congress is responsible for appropriating funds for opening a U.S. embassy in Havana and confirming the president's appointment of any ambassador there.

"That's going to be extremely difficult, especially going through the Senate," she said, mentioning Marco Rubio who has already stated that he would not confirm any ambassador to Cuba. "That's pretty much the general sentiment in the Senate as well," Quintana told Xinhua.

Before Friday's talks Cheap Clemson Tigers Jersey , Obama had indicated he would move toward removing Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Congress would give the White House a hard time on this issue, Quintana said.

Several other issues await to be resolved before moving forward. For example, Joanne Chesimard, an American who murdered a police officer in the U.S. state of New Jersey, escaped from prison after her conviction in 1977 Cheap Auburn Tigers Jersey , and was given asylum in Cuba.

Cuba said in December it had no intention of handing over the convicted cop killer. Quintana noted there is also an issue of 8 billion U.S. dollars in American asset claims against the Cuban government.

Restoring relations is an area of foreign policy that Obama can have an effect, according to Brookings Institution's senior fellow Darrell West.

"With Republican control of Congress, President Obama is looking for areas in foreign policy where he has autonomy and can have a major impact," West told Xinhua.

"Cuba fits that bill because he has a lot of leeway in foreign policy for independent action and his move reverses more than 50 years of a failed policy. Even if Congress disapproves, Obama can open an embassy and start the process of normalizing the relationship with Cuba Cheap Alabama Crimson Tide Jersey ," he said.

"The last two years of his presidency is a time for Obama to take a few risks in hope that his actions will improve the situation for the Cuban people down the road," West said.

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