Cuban foreign minister urges US-Cuba talks

Cuban diplomat says ban is 'an attack on international law'

By Hatzel Vela - Cuba Correspondent, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez speaks during a news conference with Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department July 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. (File Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

HAVANA - Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez said he "strongly rejects" President Donald Trump administration's new travel ban Wednesday and urged for U.S.-Cuba talks. 

The Commerce Department's ban restricts the popular education travel category and prohibits cruise ships and recreational and pleasure vessels from traveling to Cuba. 

"Differences should always be resolved through dialogue and cooperation, based on the strict application of International Law," Rodríguez wrote on Twitter. "That's the only way to preserve international peace and security and solve the serious and ever growing problems facing humanity."

After national security adviser John Bolton announced the sanctions in April, Cuban authorities implemented the rationing of food and hygiene products last month. The government also restricted the purchase of chicken and eggs. 

"The tightening of the U.S. blockade against Cuba and its extraterritorial implementation is an attack on International Law and the sovereignty of all States," Rodríguez wrote. "It is the main obstacle to our development and a flagrant violation of the human rights of all Cubans."

Cruise travel to Cuba was also contributing to the state-owned enterprises by contracting onshore excursions with Havanatur, hiring drivers of the popular vintage classic cars. The cruise lines were also paying the Cuban government docking fees. 

By limiting the U.S. tourists' use of the educational travel category, the new U.s. policy will also likely be hurting the island's heavily-controlled private sector and U.S. businesses like Cuba Educational Travel

 

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