US Legislators Favor US-Cuba Dialog on Equal Grounds
HAVANA, Cuba, May 6 (acn) Four US congress people agreed in Havana on Monday that there are favorable conditions for direct and unconditioned dialog between Havana and Washington to normalize bilateral relations.
The four US legislators visiting Cuba are the democrats Barbara Lee and Sam Farr, from California, Emanuel Cleaver, from Missouri and Gregory W. Meeks, from New York.
In a press conference at Havana's Saratoga Hotel, the US congress people said that their visit to Cuba aims at favoring possible negotiations to achieve the release of US citizen Alan Gross who is jailed in Cuba, and of the three anti-terrorist Cubans unfairly held in US prisons since 1998.
Gross, a contractor with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), was arrested, tried and convicted in 2009 for having violated the Cuban laws after he tried to introduce a subversive project financed by Washington, which consisted in the setting up of covert and illegal communication systems based on non-commercial technology.
Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, members of the group known as the Cuban Five, have been incarcerated in US jails for having monitored Miami-based organizations that planned terrorist actions against Cuba.
Las April 9, Cuba reiterated its willingness to find an acceptable solution for the two cases, which considers the humanitarian concern about Gross and also about the three Cubans.
US legislator Barbara Lee said that they are trying to use the experience of other visits and contacts with Cuban reality to boost the dialog between Havana and Washington from their own positions as lawmakers.
She said that they would like to advance the elimination of US travel restrictions to Cuba and the lifting of the US blockade. Meanwhile, lawmaker Cleaver criticized the recent subversive twitter program launched by Washington against Cuba known as Zunzuneo and the inclusion of the island on the black list of countries sponsors of terrorism.