Cuban Ambassador to India Abelardo Rafael Cueto Sosa today welcomed the thaw in relationship between his country and the US after a gap of more than five decades but asserted that Cuba's sovereignty was "non-negotiable". Sosa said that notwithstanding re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the economic and commercial blockades imposed by the US remain "intact". "The decision to re-establish diplomatic relations between the two countries after more than a year of negotiations is certainly a welcome step.
But the economic and commercial blockades are intact," he said in an interaction at the Indian Women's Press Corps. On the prospect of further normalisation of relations, the Cuban ambassador said, "We have clearly stated that everything is negotiable expect our sovereignty and independence which is non-negotiable." On India, which welcomed the development, he said, "Our relation with India has been historically good and friendly. India is a very fraternal country." In a historic decision, US President Barack Obama had earlier this month announced a series of steps aimed at normalising relations with the Communist-ruled Cuba, with which the US had severed diplomatic ties decades ago. The steps being taken by the US include re-establishment of the US Embassy in Cuban capital Havana, and relaxing of trade and travel restrictions. In terms of changes arising out of the diplomatic thaw, the ambassador said that people-to-people contact may see a rise. Asked about Cuba's relations with political forces in India, he said it has good equation with all the political parties.