(CNN Español) — Juan Gonzalez, assistant to President Joe Biden and principal director for the Western Hemisphere of the National Security Council of the White House, said in an interview with CNN that a process of rapprochement with the Government of Cuba would be gradual and that they do not expect to resume the policy of Barack Obama to the island.
“Joe Biden is not Barack Obama in policy towards Cuba, I believe that both of them… the political moment has changed in an important way, the political space has closed a lot, because the Cuban government has not responded in any way, and in fact the oppression against Cubans is even worse today than perhaps it was during the Bush administration. So, I believe that at this moment those are the commitments that have been made, they will be made in some moments, we are very focused on various crises around the world, and also on the domestic situation, ”the official explained.
The Senior Director of the National Security Council for the Western Hemisphere, Juan González, speaks with @jclopezcnn about Cuba and Venezuela. He assures that “the oppression against Cubans is even worse today than perhaps it was during the Bush administration.” Today 5 PM (Miami). pic.twitter.com/wDm5iu9YHx
– CNN in Spanish (@CNNEE) April 8, 2021
In 2014, then-President Barack Obama announced the start of a process to normalize relations with Cuba. In 2016, with Donald Trump in power, the White House changed focus and reinstated various sanctions against the island’s government. At the beginning of his term, Biden still does not give signals to resume the diplomatic rapprochement of the Obama era.
On the other hand, Gonzalez sent a message to the questioned president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. He does not anticipate direct dialogue by the United States with whoever exercises power in that country: “The conversation that Nicolás Maduro, Jorge Rodríguez should have is not with us, it is with Guaidó, it is with the broad front that he has been trying to form, that includes sectors of civil society, the private sector, on the future of the country. We are not going to impose conditions on that process, it is a totally Venezuelan process ”.