Second U.S.-Cuba Regulatory Talks Begin in Washington

From complex web of laws and decisions that make up the blockade, Washington and Havana agreed to hold such meetings, which had in Havana in October their first version, in the context of the trip to Cuba of U.S. secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

The inauguration of the regulatory dialogue in this capital was in charge of Pritzker herself and Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, who is on a working visit of four days until Thursday, heading a delegation of executives and businessmen of the island.

According to the host party, the meeting scheduled until tomorrow will allow the Departments of Commerce, Treasury and State to explain the changes announced by Obama last month and the business opportunities for U.S. companies in Cuba in the new scenario.

This second dialogue is another opportunity to better understand how our two governments and economies can work together, Pritzker expressed in a communique.

On January 26 the Obama administration informed financial measures and on exports and travel, with emphasis on the possibility of granting credits to Cuba.

It is expected that the visiting delegation expounds today the characteristics of its economy, particularly with regard to the importation of goods and services and financial transactions.

We come humbly to understand each other better and see how to concrete operations that can be done, said the previous day Malmierca, who along with his accompanying delegation was received at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he talked with leaders of the entity and businessmen.

The Minister acknowledged the regulatory measures by Obama, but reiterated that the validity of the blockade is the main obstacle to progress in bilateral ties.

Cuba insists that the current administration can do more in the executive order to reduce the impact of the siege.

Also, the Vice-president for the Americas of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Jodi Bond, and former Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez, pointed out the obstacle the blockade represents for bonds between the two nations.

Gutierrez, who chairs the U.S.-Cuba Business Council, told Prensa Latina that the U.S. companies interested in doing business with island should demand its end from Congress, to which the full lifting of sanctions, turned into law since 1996, correspond.

The more companies are interested in Cuba, the more influence will be exercised on Capitol Hill, he underlined.

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