EFE: U.S. senators meet in Cuba with vice president

Jun 16, 2015 by

U.S. senators meet in Cuba with vice president, foreign minister

Published June 13, 2015

A delegation made up of U.S. Senators Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Pat Roberts, all Republicans, made a working visit to Havana, where on Saturday they met with Cuban First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel and with Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
The meeting with Diaz-Canel took place at the Palace of the Revolution, where they discussed “the progress being made with the modernization of Cuba’s economic and social model,” the current context of the bilateral relations, and “the need to end the embargo,” the state-run National Information Agency, or AIN, reported.
The director general for the United States of Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, Josefina Vidal, who heads the Cuban team in negotiations with Washington, attended both meetings.
The delegation that arrived in Cuba on Friday and whose trip had been previously announced here, is the first made up entirely of Republicans since Washington and Havana announced last December 17 the decision to renew diplomatic relations.
The new policy of U.S. President Barack Obama toward Cuba has met with strong opposition among some sectors of the Republican Party, in whose ranks, however, there are lawmakers that urge bilateral understanding, as is the case with Jeff Flake.
Sen. Flake of Arizona is the chief promoter of the “Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act,” introduced into Congress last January as a move toward ending legal restrictions on the U.S. citizens traveling to the island, which remains an element of the U.S. embargo on the Caribbean island.
Flake, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, first traveled to Cuba last November with Democrat Tom Udall to visit imprisoned U.S. contractor Alan Gross, who was freed following the announcement of the thaw in U.S.-Cuban relations. EFE

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