MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US is the first and important step towards lifting the decades-old tensions between the two countries, Dr. Alexander Kharlamenko, the director of the Research Center of the Institute for Latin American Studies reporting to the Russian Academy of Sciences said on Thursday.
As he commented to TASS on the start of restoration of diplomatic relations announced on Wednesday by Barack Obama and Raul Castro, he expressed the hope that the realization of the totally unpromising character of the policy of isolation and confrontation with Cuba conducted by the US over decades had finally dawned on Washington.
“It took the US fifty years to understand that it failed to isolate Cuba in spite of the pressures it put on the countries of the Latin American region,” Dr. Kharlamenko said.
Cuba is a full-fledged member of the Latin American community which is demonstrating an instance of reunification with others through the ideas and interests aimed at building up the sovereignty of regional states, as well as their development and influence in the world community, he said.
“The US can’t but heed the opinion of Latin American nations today as the region has long dropped the role of America’s backyard and the voice of the regional peoples had the strongest sounding in the global chorus of voices demanding that the US recognize the Cuban revolution and lift economic embargo,” Dr. Kharlamenko said.
“Restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US doesn’t mean in any way that the economic embargo against Havana will be lifted anytime soon,” he said. “Standing in control of the Congress is the GOP and a step in that direction on their part is very unlikely.”
Anyway progress in relations between the two countries is obvious, Dr. Kharlamenko said.
He voiced the opinion that Obama’s decision on Cuba might have been dictated by domestic political considerations.
“Supporting this step is the majority of Latin Americans living in the US, whose voices would be so much lucrative for the Democratic Party,” Dr. Kharlamenko said.