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Brazil Not Happy with Obama for Keeping Status Quo on Cuba

September 16th, 2009
President Barack Obama meets President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

President Barack Obama meets President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

US President Barack Obama decision to extend for another twelve months the 47-year-long US trade embargo on Cuba has “disappointed” Brazil and Latinamerica” said President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s main foreign policy advisors.

“What I can say it’s that it caused a great disappointment,” said Marco Aurélio Garcia, Brazil’s Executive international affairs advisor.

“This is a very negative signal for the overall feeling of Latin America. All expectations of change regarding the foreign policy of President Obama’s administration have been frustrated,” he added.

Washington’s decision to extend for another year under the Trading With the Enemy Act, TWEA, which bans trading with countries considered a threat for the US is evidence that President Obama has wasted an excellent opportunity to show Latinamerica that with “his election things were going to change”.

“This decision does not help relations of the US with Latin America or the process of change that has been undertaken in Cuba,” said Garcia.

When asked if President Lula would express his disappointment to President Obama when they meet again at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, at the end of the month, Garcia said it was not necessary.

“President Obama knows our position: it was clearly exposed during the Trinidad Tobago summit of the Americas last April. There’s no need for President Lula to again talk about the subject,” he pointed out.

The extension of the trade embargo on Cuba, imposed in 1963, has become a routine decision of all US presidents since the mid seventies.

The announcement happens only a few days away from the United Nations General Assembly, which in recent years has been an opportunity for Cuba to muster sufficient votes for an overwhelming condemnation of Washington’s policy.


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