WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States is encouraging travel and resuming commerce with Cuba amid restored diplomatic relations between the two countries and the reopening of embassies in the respective capitals, State of State John Kerry said during a press conference on Monday.
"There is, after all, nothing to be lost and much to be gained in encouraging the travel between our nations, the free flow of information and ideas, the resumption of commerce and the removal of obstacles that have made it harder for families to visit their loved ones.”
Kerry stated, however, that the road to normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba could be “long and complex.”
"This milestone does not signify an end to differences that still separate our governments, but it does reflect the reality, that the cold war ended long ago and that the interests of both countries are better served by engagement then by estrangement.”
Kerry explained that he and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez also discussed issues of “mutual concern,” including human rights, cooperation on law enforcement and counter narcotics, the Internet as well as environmental issues.
Rodriguez however, stressed during the Cuban embassy reopening ceremony in Washington, DC, that the trade embargo the United States had imposed on the island nation as well as not returning Guantanamo Bay facility to Cuba would still stand in the way of fully normalizing relations between the two countries.
In December 2014, President Barack Obama announced his administration would pursue a policy of normalizing relations with Cuba. The United States broke off relations with Cuba in 1961 and imposed a trade and travel embargo on the island nation.
Earlier on Monday, the United States and Cuba officially reestablished full diplomatic ties by reopening embassies in the countries’ capitals.
Kerry is set to travel to Cuba on August 14 to participate in the US embassy reopening ceremony in Havana.