Cuba must end human rights violations to improve relations, US warns

guardianCuba must end human rights violations if it wants the US to continue normalising relations, secretary of state Rex Tillerson has warned.

Donald Trump is expected to travel to Miami on Friday to announce reversals to elements of Barack Obama’s Cuba policy, which saw embassies reopen, direct flights resume and companies do business after half a century of cold war hostility.

Addressing the Senate foreign relations committee in Washington on Tuesday, Tillerson testified that Obama’s reforms effectively removed pressure on Raúl Castro’s regime to alter its behaviour.

“Cuba has failed to improve its own human rights record, political opponents continue to be imprisoned, dissidents continue to be jailed, women continue to be harassed. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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