Poland urges US to go further with Cuban thaw
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland's foreign ministry has congratulated the US on its renewal of diplomatic relations with Cuba, encouraging Washington to go further by lifting a long-standing embargo.
A group of Chileans and Cubans celebrate the announcement of the normalization of the relations between Cuba and USA outside the Cuban embassy in Santiago de Chile, Chile, 17 December 2014. EPA/MARIO RUIZ
''We hope that the next step will be the lifting of the US embargo against Cuba,'' a statement released by the ministry stressed, noting that “for years we have been a constistent advocate of this in the General Assembly of the UN.''
Only Congress is empowered to drop the embargo, which has been in place since 1960, and some congressmen appear to be standing firm on the matter.
''Any normalization in my view should have been gauged to progress on human rights and other issues, and I haven't seen that," commented Republican Senator John McCain.
However, other Republicans were more forthcoming.
"You know, the 50-year embargo with Cuba just hasn't worked," Rand Paul reflected.
"I mean, if the goal is regime change it sure doesn't seem to be working."
President Barack Obama announced the renewal of diplomatic ties on Wednesday.
Both countries plan to reopen embassies in each other's capitals in the immediate future, and a prisoner exchange has already been carried out.
Besides congratulating the US and Cuba, Poland has noted that that ''the mediation'' of Pope Francis in laying the ground for a thaw should be regarded as ''a big success.''
''We value the role of the Church in opening up Cuba to the world,'' the ministry emphasized, noting that Polish pontiff John Paul II had appealed for this ''in his first historic pilgrimage to the island in 1998.'' (nh)
Source: msz.gov.pl, PAP, CBS