“If what you’re suggesting is some kind of economic assistance, no,” US Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Roberta Jacobson said Thursday, reacting to a question about providing aid to Cuba.
“To the extent that we can support the cuentapropistas, the independent business people, to start their own business where that’s loosened up in Cuba, and entrepreneurship, we will do that,“ Jacobson added.
President Barack Obama made clear that one of the things the United States is trying to do is encourage economic independence of Cubans, she also said.
The official also announced that the United States would commence talks to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba in Havana in January. Next steps will also include potentially removing Cuba from the state sponsor of terrorism list.
On Wednesday, President Obama announced that the United States was relaxing trade and travel restrictions on Cuba. An embargo has been in place since 1961 due to Cold War antagonism between Washington and the Communist government in Havana.