Kamala Harris: Breaking down barriers can be painful but is always worth it

By Beatriz Pascual Macias

Washington, Oct 27 (efe-epa).- Kamala Harris, who in just one week’s time could become the United States’ first female vice president-elect, said in an interview with Efe that breaking down barriers comes at a high cost and can sometimes leave you bruised and bloodied but is always worth it.

The 56-year-old junior US senator from California said she feels a great responsibility to speak up for those who are still marginalized and vowed that if she makes it to the White House she will fight for equality for all Americans.

In a written interview with Efe, Harris reflected on her career and her mother’s influence and also revealed the policies a new Democratic Party administration will implement on matters such as asylum protections for Central American migrants and relations with Cuba, Spain, the European Union and NATO.


Question: What would be the first measure you would adopt to combat the coronavirus? Has anyone in your family been personally affected by the health or economic consequences of the pandemic?

Answer: President (Donald) Trump’s reckless disregard for the well-being of the American people has allowed this virus to claim more than 220,000 lives. More than 8.4 million are infected. 23 million people are out of work. Too many of us, including me, know and love someone whose life has been affected by the pandemic.

President Trump knew how bad the virus was back in January, but he lied about it and he covered it up. It’s been eight months and he still doesn’t have a plan to contain this virus.

(Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President) Joe Biden has had a plan to fight COVID-19 since March. He and I will listen to public health experts and follow the science. We will call on every American to wear a mask in public. We will provide free testing and treatment for everyone and prioritize the development and distribution of a safe and free vaccine.


Q: What would a Biden-Harris administration do to revert the policies that President Trump has taken regarding Cuba? Would you personally advocate for the end of the embargo?

A: The Biden-Harris administration’s policy toward Cuba will be governed by two principles: First, Americans – especially Cuban-Americans – are the best ambassadors for freedom in Cuba. Second, empowering the Cuban people to determine their own future is central to the national security interest of the United States.

Trump is deporting hundreds of Cubans back to a dictatorship and a crackdown by the regime that has only increased under his presidency. There are almost 10,000 Cubans languishing in tent camps along the Mexican border because of Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. And he’s separating Cuban families through restrictions on family visits and remittances.

We will reverse Trump’s failed policies. And like he did as vice president, Joe Biden will also demand the release of political prisoners and make human rights a centerpiece of diplomatic engagement.

The embargo is the law; it takes an act of Congress to lift it, or a determination by the president that a democratically elected government is in power in Cuba. We don’t expect either of these things to occur any time soon.

Q: From the perspective of US foreign policy, what role do you envision for Spain in relations with Cuba and, in general, with Latin America?

A: Under a Biden-Harris administration, the United States will partner with members of the international community, including Spain, to support the Cuban people, as well as to advance Joe Biden’s vision to work toward a hemisphere that is secure, middle class and democratic.


Q: What actions would you take to dismantle President Trump’s immigration policies? Specifically, I would like to know if a Biden-Harris administration would dismantle the “Remain in Mexico” program and the “Safe Third Country” agreements with El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. What would you tell children of those countries who have been separated from their parents?

A: Joe Biden recognizes that immigration is a source of strength for the country. As president, Joe Biden will finish the work of building a fair and humane immigration system. The Biden-Harris administration will secure our border, while ensuring the dignity of migrants and upholding their legal right to seek asylum – including ending the “Remain in Mexico” program and “Safe Third Country” agreements with the countries in Central America.

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