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Cuba-US negotiations:- US efforts to ease embargo 'insufficient', Cuban trade minister says

With Obama heading toward a potentially historic meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro this week, Trade and Foreign Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca criticized the US leader's limited steps to ease the crippling trade and financial embargo the United States has maintained on Cuba since 1962.

After the old Cold War foes announced a historic rapprochement on December 17, Obama loosened several components of the embargo, allowing more travel from the United States to Cuba, raising the limit on cash remittances to the island and easing restrictions on certain kinds of trade, among other measures.

"The measures Obama ordered are incomplete and insufficient, and do not change the essence of this unilateral measure taken by the US government against Cuba," Malmierca told state newspaper Granma.

He said the measures were a "step in the right direction" but did not go far enough toward ending the embargo.

Obama "has vast prerogatives – far beyond the measures approved last January – that he could use to make substantive steps toward normalizing bilateral relations," he said.

Read more Americas - US efforts to ease embargo 'insufficient', Cuban trade minister says - France 24

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