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Montevideo, September 27th 2021 - 07:33 UTC



US will no longer “dictate unilaterally”, but Cuban embargo remains

Monday, March 30th 2009 - 15:24 UTC
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United States Vice President Joe Biden said that Washington would no longer “dictate unilaterally” to Latin America, and that it had entered a new era in the historically troubled relationship.

“The time of the United States dictating unilaterally, the time where we only talk and don't listen is over” Biden said in Santiago after holding discussions with several Latinamerican leaders at the Progressive Governance forum in Chile.

Mr. Biden represented President Obama at the Progressive Governance conference in Viña del Mar and on Sunday left for Costa Rica.

”My visit here is just the beginning of a renewal of a partnership with the Americas. In the past, even when we engaged positively we tended to engage 'for' the (western) hemisphere. We're not engaging 'for,' this is 'with,'“ Biden added.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet hailed the new US administration's ”genuine wish to play a proactive and decisive role in the construction of a new world dialogue.“

US Vice-president Biden met with the heads of state of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile during a two-day conference and before flying to Costa Rica for a Central American summit.

However in Chile Biden reiterated that the Obama administration supported a change in policy toward age-old foe Cuba, but added: ”we think the Cuban people should determine their own fate and that they should be able to live in freedom and with some prospect of economic prosperity“.

Recent changes to US laws loosened some restrictions on commerce with the Castro brothers regime and eased travel rules for Cubans living in the United States, but fell short of calls to lift an entire decades-old US embargo as has been repeatedly requested by Latinamerican leaders from all the political spectrum.

Biden said a ”transition“ is needed in the Washington policy towards Cuba buthe was in Chile ”to talk about the economy, not Cuba“.

”President Obama and I are absolutely committed to working closely with our neighbours in the hemisphere” he insisted at Chile's La Moneda presidential palace.

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