The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has interceded this Tuesday for Spanish companies that do business in Cuba in a series of bilateral meetings that she has held with her counterparts in Washington. As she herself said later in a conversation with the press at the Spanish embassy in Washington, Maroto has transferred him to the administration of Joe Biden that the part of the embargo that triggered Donald Trump in 2019 “in this case it is not the solution to the problems that exist in Cuba.”
“One of my tasks on this trip is to defend the interests of Spanish companies where there is a problem and also generate confidence so that the US administration can count on Spanish companies in everything that will be its recovery plan,” said the Minister Maroto. «I can say that I have been able to convey to you the concern of the Government of Spain about the situation in Cuba and, of course, the defense of the interests of Spanish companies. And we have already complained to the previous administration and we have done it again to this one, “he added.
Unlike the Prime Minister, Minister Maroto has come to Washington, and she has met with her counterparts in the Biden executive, specifically with Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce, and Katherine Chi Tai, Head of the Office of the US Trade Representative. Sánchez arrives in New York this Tuesday and also visits Los Angeles and San Francisco, with no meetings on the agenda with the Biden government.
Asked about the reason why Sánchez visits the US but will not be received at the White House, Minister Maroto said: “It is an eminently economic and commercial trip and my role in Washington is no less. My portfolio is Industry, Commerce and Tourism and therefore what I do is complement the president’s trip, who, as you know, is going to meet with important investment funds, with important companies, to convey to them the good business climate that exists. in Spain, investment opportunities ”.
Sánchez arrives in the US just as the Biden administration is working on a plan to respond to the repressive wave of Castroism in the face of growing pro-democracy protests. The US president has denounced this repressive campaign and said at a press conference: “Communism is a failed system, and I do not believe that socialism is an adequate substitute, but that is another story.”
Rejection of unilateral action
On Monday, a senior US official told ABC that the White House seeks the cooperation of its partners in Cuba, and resists any unilateral action. According to this senior official, the US is in contact with its allies in international organizations to increase the flow of humanitarian assistance to Cuba and intends to “intensify diplomatic engagement with regional and international partners to support the aspirations of the Cuban people.”
Minister Maroto has insisted on defending the Spanish companies doing business in Cuba. These were affected in 2019 by Trump’s decision to apply the embargo in all its intensity: foreign companies that do business with expropriated property in Cuba are exposed to lawsuits in US courts, and their managers are denied entry visas to USA The director and vice president of Meliá, Gabriel Escarrer, received a notification from the State Department in 2019 according to which he is prohibited from traveling to the USA.
This is allowed by Titles III and IV of the ley Helms Burton, which has been deepening and regulating the embargo since 1996. Both were suspended by all US presidents, until Trump, who in 2019 decided to tighten the embargo after Barack Obama, with Biden as vice president, will lighten it up to reestablish diplomatic relations with the Castro dictatorship.