Cuba's Ambassador to Jamaica, Ines Fors Fernandez

The Cuban Government is ready to have dialogue and discussion with the new United States Administration led by President Joe Biden, if such a situation arises, the Spanish-speaking island’s senior envoy in Jamaica has said.

“We are talking about our sovereignty and our independence, but if the new US Administration is ready to talk, we are ready,” stated Cuba’s Ambassador to Jamaica Ines Fors Fernandez, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer last week.

“A fluent relationship between Cuba and the United States favours not only Cuba, but also the US. During the Obama Administration we signed more than 20 agreements or memorandum of understanding in several areas including health, agriculture, environment, so it gives you an idea of cooperation. A dialogue with Cuba and the United States is possible, but there should be no interference with Cuban principles,” the ambassador suggested.

Cuba and the US have been at odds for 60 years, since the Cuban Revolution of January 1959 which saw Fidel Castro Ruz leading an overthrow of fascist dictator Fulgencio Batista, the then president of Cuba.

The United States imposed an embargo in 1961 which squeezed aspects of the Caribbean island’s initiatives, but despite that, Cubans have managed to stay afloat in the game of survival.

The Barack Obama Administration, which left office in 2016, moved to mend the fences of discord between the two countries, and re-established diplomatic ties, with the US opening an embassy in the Cuban capital of Havana in July 2015, at which Secretary of State John Kerry was present and addressed a news conference attended by scores of journalists from North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Obama had even visited Cuba after that in March 2016, at the request of then Cuban President Raul Castro, Fidel’s younger brother, who has since retired.