AP. 2 February 2002. Cuba's Foreign Minister: Trade Embargo Will
HAVANA -- The push by some Americans to overturn the 40-year-old U.S.
trade embargo against Cuba is turning into a snowball that ultimately
will end the policy, Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said Saturday.
Perez Roque said that growing opposition by many Americans to the trade
sanctions ultimately will "squash" support for the trade sanctions,
which he characterized as a "dinosaur" policy.
"It's like an unstoppable snowball," the foreign minister said in
comments carried by the Cuba's Prensa Latina news agency.
The Prensa Latina dispatch said that nearly 2,000 Americans visited Cuba
with different delegations in January alone. That does not count
Americans who traveled here in defiance of U.S. regulations requiring
them to gain Treasury Department approval before spending money here.
Perez Roque said that last year an estimated 80,000 Americans visited
Cuba, the vast majority of them ignoring the spending restrictions that
effectively ban travel here for most U.S. citizens.
Most members of the U.S. Congress oppose American policies toward Cuba
such as the restrictions on most trade and travel, the Cuban foreign
minister, repeating the view of Americans who oppose those policies.
The changing winds on Capitol Hill, along with Cuban proposals for
increased cooperation between the two countries in drug interdiction,
migration and the fight against terrorism are all positive signs, he
"We are waiting for responses to move ahead. Cuba is ready for this,"
Perez Roque said.
A "certain distention and cooperation in some areas in the last months
show that normal and respectful relations are possible between Cuba and
the United States," he said.
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