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Dec 18, 2014

US and Cuba Enhance Relationship

Jose Prieto Cintado

The historic prisoner exchange deal between the United States and Cuba marks a new chapter in relations between the two, following decades of glacial tension.  The renewal of diplomatic affairs and the announcement of the establishment of diplomatic missions in Havana and Washington were met with strong opinions stateside. In Havana many took to the streets after televised announcements by presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama.  Pope Francis, it has been revealed, had a hand in the deal offering advice to the US president. In Belize, Cuban ambassador Jose Prieto Cintado told News Five that the mutual outcome was at least three years in the making with negotiations between both countries centered around a withdrawal of the existing embargo. 

 

Marleni Cuellar

“Was it expected that this meeting and the exchange of prisoners was going to happen today and that this change in relationship would potentially take place?”

 

Jose Prieto Cintado, Cuban Ambassador to Belize (Translated)

“These five international [prisoners] have more than fifteen years of imprisonment.  Sixteen years in the life of a human being is a lot of time, especially when you’re in prison for unfair and unjust reasons. These Cubans, none of the charges was truly evidenced.  Out of the five sentences they got none of them were able to be fully evidenced.  Three of them were clandestine, they were using pseudonyms, false names, they were not there with their real identities and they were sanctioned because they were undercover agents of an undeclared state and for this type of crime nobody is held prisoner in the United States.  There’s nobody that has been held prisoner, not even for one month and our nationals are there for more than sixteen years.  The practice in the United States when these types of crimes take place is extradition and we know that in our case they were really holding it against them.  So we have been undertaking these types of negotiations in order for these three prisoners to be exchanged or five, if that were to be the case.  So we’ve been for like two and a half or three years in this negotiation to try to exchange the prisoners.  Several of the high ranking officials of the United States have visited Cuba and also several of our high authorities from our Ministry of Foreign Affairs have also visited the United States and we’re trying to get the best solution possible.”

 

The prisoner exchange has seen the release of U.S. contractor Alan Gross, while Cuban spies who have been imprisoned in America for over a decade and a half have been repatriated.

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1 Response for “US and Cuba Enhance Relationship”

  1. Teddy Steinway says:

    You can see why this guy is ambassador to Belize and not Russia.
    Just can’t let go of his predjudice.

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