Media Statement

18 December 2014

Developments between the US and Cuba

The South African Government has taken note of the announcement made by the President of the United States of America, His Excellency Barack Obama, relating to the nature of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.

The South African government welcomes the release of the remaining three of the Cuban Five and the intention by the US to normalise diplomatic relations with Cuba.

The South African government has consistently called for the release of the Cuban Five and the lifting of the trade embargo against Cuba, maintaining that the embargo was punitive in its nature and execution, thus making Cuba's political and trade ties with the rest of the international community difficult.

At the level of the Government and the ruling party, the African National Congress, South Africa has used its fraternal relations with Cuba to facilitate dialogue with the US in a series of consultative meetings.

Working together with civil society, the South African Government has held up its model of political dialogue and reconciliation to the Cubans and advocated for a win-win situation.

South Africa and Cuba share a special relationship that is rooted in the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

South Africa urges the US government to move swiftly towards the normalisation of diplomatic relations with Cuba as announced by President Obama.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
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