WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Normalizing relations with Cuba will not bring the Cuban people democracy because the Cuban government continues its dictatorial practices, US House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement.
"Opening the door to an embassy in Cuba will not open the door to democracy for the Cuban people," Boehner stated on Friday. "While the United States has re-hung its ‘open for business’ sign in Havana, the Cuban dictatorship is continuing its business as usual."
Earlier on Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry travelled to Cuba to take part in the US embassy reopening ceremony that marked the normalization of relations between the two countries.
Boehner accused the Obama administration of making concessions to pariah states to promote his legacy, stressing that such behavior has not improved the lives of Cuban citizens.
"Instead of embracing democracy and changing their oppressive behavior, the Castro regime has countered with a list of expensive demands and continued to deny basic freedoms to its own people," Boehner added.
Washington imposed a full trade ban against Cuba in 1962. The US embargo on Cuba is one of the longest standing trade embargoes in US history.
US-Cuba diplomatic relations were officially restored on July 20, 2015, when the two countries officially reopened their embassies in Havana and Washington, DC respectively.