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News > Latin America

US Senator Corker Visits Cuba to Discuss Bilateral Issues

  • People stand on a sidewalk near the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba, August 14, 2015.

    People stand on a sidewalk near the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba, August 14, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 September 2018

U.S. Senator Bob Corker meets with Cuba's foreign minister to strengthen diplomatic relations.

On his second trip to the island this term, U.S. Republican Senator Bob Corker visited Cuba Wednesday in order to strengthen diplomatic relations with officials from the Miguel Diaz-Canel administration.

Cuban President to teleSUR: 'The Blockade is Inhumane'

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla welcomed Corker as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee saying in a communique that the two “discussed bilateral matters of reciprocal interest" between the two countries. 

The meeting comes just days before the U.N. General Assembly's latest vote to end the U.S. economic blockade on Cuba in place since 1962, which has majority support. In 2016 the Obama administration abstained from casting a ballot for the first time since Washington began the policy.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and then Cuban President Raul Castro made significant strides in restoring diplomatic relations between their two nations —fractured for half a century by Washington's blockade — and reopening their embassies in each country.

However, the Donald Trump government removed its diplomats from Havana after they and their families accused the Cuban government of orchestrating an "acoustic attack" on them, an accusation that Cuba and several studies reject.

The Republican senator from Tennessee, Corker, met in Washington with Cuban scientists who were part of a commission investigating the "attack" allegations. Cuban specialists say the symptoms that U.S. officials suffered — headaches, nausea, dizziness, and trouble sleeping — are caused by diseases such as hypertension or stress, or are related to pre-existing diseases.

Last Sunday in an interview with teleSUR, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said relations with the United States were "in retreat," but he's open to dialogue on equal terms that respects Cuban sovereignty.

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