On June 14, 2018, the Seventh Bilateral Commission Meeting between Cuba and the United States was held in Washington, D.C.
Even in the present circumstances, the Commission remains as an official dialogue forum for the direct discussion of differences and the follow-up on issues in which there is cooperation and mutual interest.
The meeting provided an opportunity to review the areas of exchange and cooperation where activities were carried out in the most recent months and to confirm potentials to move forward in other sectors.
The Cuban delegation rebuffed the regress in the bilateral relationship imposed by the government of the United States and called attention on the negative consequences thereof for both peoples, the Cuban emigration and the international and regional environment. The Cuban delegation reiterated that the economic, commercial and financial blockade continues to be the main obstacle to any perspective of improvement in the bilateral relationship and denounced its intensification with the adoption, in particular, of additional financial measures of aggressive extraterritorial nature.
It referred to the negative impact of the political and diplomatic actions promoted by the United States since the previous bilateral commission meeting held in September 2017, including the intended interference in the internal affairs of Cuba, with the open manipulation of the human rights issue, which is flagrantly, massively and systematically violated with the implementation of the blockade.
The Cuban delegation urged the government of the United States to desist from the continued political manipulation of the alleged health cases, which became the pretext to adopt new unilateral measures that affect the performance of the respective embassies, in particular, the rendering of consular services depended upon by hundreds of thousands of persons.
The delegation also demanded the lifting of the arbitrary “travel warning” which hinders the scientific, academic, cultural, religious and entrepreneurial exchanges, as well as the visits by Americans to a country that is internationally recognized as safe and healthy.
The Cuban delegation acknowledged the advances achieved in the bilateral migratory commitments and alerted to the risk of non-compliance by the United States with the existing obligations pursuant to the agreements signed.
Likewise, the delegation reaffirmed that it has been demonstrated that it is possible to cooperate and live in a civilized manner, by respecting differences and promoting that which benefits both countries and peoples. It expressed Cuba’s willingness to continue the bilateral dialogue and to work on issues of common interest through the active implementation, based on concrete proposals, of the bilateral agreements subscribed as those on environmental protection, law enforcement, health, agriculture, hydrography and geodesy, among others.
The Cuban delegation was led by Carlos Fernández de Cossío Domínguez, Director General for U.S. Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while the U.S. delegation was led by John Creamer, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.