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Cuba: 'complete end to US embargo needed' to normalise relations

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By Euronews  with LUIS CARBALLO
Cuba: 'complete end to US embargo needed' to normalise relations

Cuba is entering a new era in diplomatic relations. At the start of 2016, President Raul Castro became the first Cuban leader to visit France in 21 years, while in 2015 the island nation restored ties with the US.

Raul’s brother, the-then President Fidel Castro, met France’s last Socialist President, François Mitterand in Paris in 1995.

Among Raul Castro’s 2016 delegation was Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla. Euronews journalist Luis Carballo interviewed him in Paris.

Luis Carballo, euronews

Did Washington give you a date for the end of sanctions on Cuba. Do you think you’ll know before Obama leaves the White House?

Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Cuban Foreign Minister

“There won’t be a normalisation of relations between the US and Cuba without a complete end to the embargo. It’s a decision that has to go through Congress. In the meantime, the US President has vast executive powers that he could use to substantially modify the application of the embargo.”

French President François Hollande has urged Obama to lift the embargo before the end of his term in office.

Castro and his government have described it as the main obstacle to Cuba’s economic development.

Luis Carballo, euronews

There are elections in the US this year. Do you think Obama’s successor is going to impact on the thaw in relations between the two countries? Which candidate would be the best for Cuba?

Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Cuban Foreign Minister

“Any of them without a doubt will find themselves in a new situation, which has never been seen before between the US and Cuba. Because now we are working on creating an entirely new relationship.”

The full interview will be aired at 9.45pm (CET) on Thursday, February 4, in The Global Conversation on euronews.