“That conscience is ingrained in our internationalism, and is at the essence of our policies of international solidarity. It won’t change just because we establish a normal relationship with the U.S. or any other government,” the Cuban Five’s René González tells MintPress News.
HAVANA, Cuba — The December 2014 announcement that Cuba and the United States would be normalizing relations was met with both eagerness and suspicion. The diplomatic negotiations which led to the release of the remaining three members of the Cuban Five being held in the U.S. in exchange for USAID subcontractor Alan Gross and an unidentified U.S. spy, also provided the foundations upon which both countries agreed to embark on a new series of diplomatic discussions.
Following a State Department review in April 2015, Cuba was removed from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list — a scheme concocted by the U.S. against Cuba due to the island’s support for revolutionary resistance in South America and Africa. Iran, Sudan and Syria remain on the list.
In August 2015 the U.S. opened an embassy in Havana, ending the historical diplomatic rupture which escalated to U.S. covert and overt actions against Cuba, including over 630 attempts to assassinate former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. In his address at the flag raising ceremony at the embassy, Secretary of State John Kerry alluded to the perpetual rhetoric of “democratic transition” in Cuba. Noting that “Cuba’s future is for Cubans to shake,” he continued:
“But the leaders in Havana – and the Cuban people – should also know that the United States will always remain a champion of democratic principles and reforms. Like many other governments in and outside this hemisphere, we will continue to urge the Cuban Government to fulfill its obligations under the UN and inter-American human rights covenants – obligations shared by the United States and every other country in the Americas.”