Mexico’s leader urges US to end Cuba embargo

Mexico City, Sep 16 (EFE).- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took the opportunity of his speech before the start of Thursday’s parade marking Mexico’s independence day to urge Washington to abandon the economic embargo it imposed on Cuba in 1962.

“The government that I represent respectfully appeals to the government of the United States to lift the blockade against Cuba because no state has the right to subjugate another people, another country,” the Mexican leader, popularly known as AMLO, said.

Attending the ceremony as a special guest was Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who expressed gratitude for Mexico’s solidarity in the face of Washington’s “total war” against the Communist-ruled island.

While people may differ over the merits of the Cuban Revolution or the current government in Havana, Cuba’s more than six decades of resistance to US pressure “is an indisputable historic accomplishment,” AMLO said.

If the embargo and other punitive measures were to achieve the aim of toppling Cuba’s Communist government, the Mexican said, it would be “a Pyrrhic, vile and swinish triumph.”

He cited a quote from the first US president, George Washington: “Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another, though he were your enemy.”

AMLO said that in regard to Cuba, the US should put aside resentment in favor of reconciliation.

“Let us hope that (US) President (Joe) Biden, who possesses sufficient political sensitivity, acts with that magnanimity and ends forever the policy of offenses against Cuba,” the Mexican head of state said.

Diaz-Canel thanked AMLO for the invitation to the independence celebration and said that Cuba would “forever remember” the support it has gotten from Mexico, which recently sent supplies to the island as it struggles with shortages made more acute by the Covid-19 pandemic and the US sanctions.

When Biden became president in January, there were expectations that he would open a new chapter in relations with Cuba after four years of intensifying acrimony under Donald Trump, who enacted more than 200 punitive measures toward the island.

Biden was vice president when Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro announced in December 2014 the resumption of bilateral diplomatic ties after more than decades of mutual hostility.

Obama went on to make a historic visit to Cuba and used the tools of executive power to promote closer links.

Though Biden said during the 2020 election campaign that he would reverse Trump’s move to sharply limit the ability of Cuban-Americans to send remittances to their families on the island, he has yet to take any steps toward reviving Obama’s policy toward Cuba. EFE csr/dr

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