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On June 29, during an interview with journalist Lucia Duraccio of the Italian channel RAI TG1, references to Cuba were recorded by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
During the interview, the Italian journalist asked Blinken, "a few days ago, the United States voted against the UN resolution to end the embargo on Cuba. It was, if I remember correctly, the 29th time. While 184 countries voted in favor. Why is Cuba still the enemy? I mean, is the dialogue initiated by former President Obama over for good?"
The U.S. Secretary of State responded by stating, "We are in the midst of a review of our Cuba policy. President Biden has been in office for about six months. There's been a lot of things to do."
Blinken continued by clarifying that "there was an immediate focus on revitalizing our relationships with our partners and allies, like Italy, re-engaging with multilateral institutions, re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement, re-engaging with the World Health Organization, and convening a leaders' summit on climate.:
In the interview, Blinken stated that U.S. priorities under the Biden Administration have been "the G7, which has made very important progress with all our countries working together. On covid, a billion vaccines for the world, on climate, working to prevent the financing of coal plants, the largest contributor to global emissions. A very strong and important agenda, both bilaterally with our closest partners and multilaterally in these international bodies."
Regarding Cuba, Blinken told Duraccio: "there are only certain things that can be done in six months. One of the things that we are looking at very carefully right now is the Cuba policy. It is under review. I can tell you that, as a matter of basic principle, any policy we pursue will have democracy and human rights at its core, and we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to empower the Cuban people to decide their own future."
In response to Blinken's claims regarding human rights, the Italian reporter asked: "I know that human rights are also important as far as Cuba is concerned, but you talk to Saudi Arabia, to Turkey. Maybe dialogue is necessary to improve the conditions of the people, of the Cuban people?"
Blinken finalized the portion of his interview by asserting that, "We have never resisted dialogue anywhere. The question is: What is the general policy? And that's what we're reviewing. We've done that in a number of areas. We spent some months reviewing our policy toward North Korea, for example, and we announced that policy just a few weeks ago. We're doing the same thing with Cuba."