PM welcomes normalization of Cuba/US relations; calls for lifting of trade embargo

US marines raise the  American flag over the newly reopened U.S. Embassy in Havana last week. Photo credit: US News and World Report
US marines raise the American flag over the newly reopened U.S. Embassy in Havana last week. Photo credit: US News and World Report

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says while he is giving a nod of approval to the steps by United States of America (USA) to normalize relations with Cuba after more than half a century, Dominica will continue to press for the removal of the trade embargo on the Spanish-speaking island.

“While we aware improvements have been made, gains have been made, changes have occurred but we shall continue to press for the removal of the blockage, while at the same time recognizing the positive steps that have been taken by the USA,” he said on state-owned DBS Radio on Monday. “So I think we have to assist the USA in taking that decision and let the world understand that sanctions are not always the way to go and we always believe that through dialogue, diplomacy, much more can be achieved.”

The coldness between the two countries has its roots in the 1950’s when Fidel Castro came into power and bitter arguments, political grandstanding and the occasional international crisis ensued.

Diplomatic relations ended in 1961 when then President John F. Kenenedy, imposed the trade embargo on Cuba which restricted trade and exchange.

But things took a turn for the better when President Barack Obama recently announced that Cubans living in the USA could visit and send remittances to their families and easing but not removing the 47-year-old economic embargo on the island.

On August 14, Secretary of State, John Kerry made a historic trip to Cuba to reopen the US embassy in Havana; the greatest symbol yet of the warming of relations between the two countries.

Skerrit said the reopening of the embassy in Cuba by the Americans and the opening of the Cuban Embassy in US by the Cubans, is “a great sign of the improvements of relations between the US and the Republic of Cuba.”

“It is something that I believe that the entire world community, with the exception of a few countries, has been calling for and more so within the Caribbean community, Dominica included. We have been calling on the USA to normalize relations with Cuba,” he noted.

The Prime Minister commended the US President for “his very strong leadership in that regard because it is very clear that he was the one who has been leading the charge in respect to the normalization of relations,” adding that the USA has recognized that its position on Cuba is not on the best interests of either countries and the world.

“Normalization of relations is one thing and it is one step,” he said. “We still have the blockage in place and it is a matter that has been receiving the attention of the United Nations for several years now. There have been numerous votes at the UN and they have been overwhelmingly almost unanimous support expects two or three countries in any given year who have supported the maintaining of the blockage against Cuba.”

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  1. Independent
    August 18, 2015

    Mr P M

    Does this mean that you will stop slagging off The U S?

    You have always been hostile towards the U S but never reluctant to accept their freebies or their hospitality!

    • Francisco Telemaque
      August 18, 2015

      He hates America, and its people so much; he is over hustle to America, and Americans, yet he could not stand it to allow his child to be born in Dominica, he had to become a Frenchman, because I suppose he dislike himself because of where he was born “Dominica.”

      That Crapo, Mountain Chicken brain mentality, believes that he was born in France you know. Every morning he wakes up the first thing he does is beat his chest like a mountain gorilla, and say to himself; yes! I is a Frenchman born oui!


      I hear anytime he sees his son holding up his American flag, de man does wrestle de little and take way his flag, screaming me wish it was me, me wish is I was born there!

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaah; Skerrit boy I on your case.

      • Francisco Telemaque
        August 18, 2015

        “de man does wrestle de little and take way his flag,”

        I forgot to write little boy:

        So, the tune goes like this, ‘de man does wrestle de little boy, and take way his flag’!

  2. memoi
    August 18, 2015

    I hope he doh mind it when some of the cruise ships start dropping Dominica to go to Cuba. I am not sure if our leaders do not know that the other countries and large companies are looking at every move we make. Why bite the hands that feed you. Sad Times in Dominica. Sad Times.

  3. MR Dominica
    August 18, 2015

    ONE more word to Skeritt to quote the late John Compton ”COCHROCH HAS NO BUSINESS IN FOWL FIGHT” And the law makers in congress are the ones to lift the embargo so this will happen when the two dictating brothers free the people of cuba and return their stolen properties followed by free elections

  4. Black Nobility
    August 18, 2015

    Ok, one more to ADD to the CENTRAL BANK. Only North Korea and Iran are left. Red Shield will eventually have you begging.

  5. Me
    August 18, 2015

    Did you pay Obama his royalties for using his picture in your election campaign? Leadership is everything, right?

  6. kubulol
    August 18, 2015

    Once again :
    there is no blockage of Cuba ; there is a US embargo . It’s totally different.

    Cuba is free to have commercial relations with all other countries, especially with their dictatorships allies ( Venezuela, etc…)
    If communism is so perfect, what’s the problem of having a commercial embargo with the US ?

  7. J.John-Charles
    August 18, 2015

    P.M you are just a big joke by saying.
    But WE shall continue to press for the removal of the blockage”again
    “WE have assist the taking that decision”

    What power,what influence do you have on the U.S. government?
    If you have an ounce of influence over Obama,please make him stop harassing us with his Dodd-Frank which he signed into law July 2010.

    You also talked about improvements have been made,,,,changes have occurred.

    It would be far better if you had said improvements have been made because Cubans no longer ride donkeys on the streets in Havana,”We were instrumental in freeing the Cubans from the dictatorship of the Castros or no more prisoners in jail for not supporting the communist regime .
    OK P.M.?

  8. August 18, 2015

    “We have to assist the U.S?”lol lol lol :?:

  9. chirp chirp chirp on the Morne
    August 17, 2015

    Roseau and environs cork your ears. Skerrit is turning Dominica into a concentration camp. The pit he is digging for others, he is going to fall into it with sinking sand, volcanic ash and mash potato.

    • Me
      August 18, 2015

      Don’t you mean “cock your ears”? Corking your ears would mean that people block their ears in order not to hear.

  10. vonvonnoel
    August 17, 2015

    …..But talk about seeking noticing.. Who the hell is Skerrit really and truly in the grand scheme of things?He take time, I expected him to take credit for what happened on Friday. Skerrit is so narcissistic it’s scary. Negro go find ways to develop the island you are exploiting to fatten your wallet and mind your damn business. Go to hell, go to hel!!!!l it’s none of your damn business what happens between America and Cuba.. I swear this man has trouble passing gas or worms have him swollen..nuissance

  11. Rol
    August 17, 2015

    But why he doh mind his business nor, clean your backyard first. Cha!

  12. The Real Facts
    August 17, 2015

    First the embassy and then the trade embargo.
    As everything takes time, one day the US will lift the trade embargo on Cuba.
    It will occur sometime in the future.

  13. MR Dominica
    August 17, 2015

    I think Skerritt should mine his business and stop the drug invasion of dominica , improve the econmy of the country so that the young people could make a living and he could stop walking around dictators with a cup begging . where is the airport that the morocans were to build as mentioned by Julius some years ago ? why has he stopped talking about the airport the communist chinese were to build? how succesful was he in uniting china and tiwan? when is Marigot going to have a hospital? Is dominica on its way to become TIBET #2 ?

    • bimb
      August 18, 2015

      If Obama nor any other US president can stop the drug invasion in America, why do you think Skerrit or any other leader can? understand the drug trade is based on supply and demand. people want to do drugs and will pay for it. The suppliers find a way to supply the demand. during the alcohol prohibition when alcohol was demonized in the US it was the same thing and people like AL Capone and others got RICH on the illegal sale of alcohol. Until they realized that there was no way to control people\’s demands nor the suppliers they made it legal again. Now alcohol is the most beloved by all. It sponsors family events, cultural events, sports events, sold at church activities. Holland doesnt have these issues of high crime and smuggling etc. because their policies are much different from the countries who engage in this so called drug war. So in the end, Skerrit cannot do anything about drugs except pass more laws and ask china for more police gear and training. But that doesnt stop it.

  14. August 17, 2015

    America do not need your advice please give it to President Maduro of Venezuela .

  15. Nac Vibes
    August 17, 2015

    Oh please, who in the world listens to skerrit, no world leader of any consequence has ever heard of him much less cares about his drivel. Laughable.

  16. truth
    August 17, 2015

    skeritt, You quick to talk about america and cuba.. [ But you could,nt speak to venezuela and guyana?

    I hope the prime ministers in the region is looking at you, CAREFULLY,

  17. ?
    August 17, 2015

    Can you press for better relations with your countrymen and countrywomen before extending yourself into affairs that really do not need your input? There are issues in Dominica that require your urgent attention like the mess at PWC which is about to get to the next level (National Strike), the Salisbury fiasco and so many more. Let us clean our backyard before we pry into other people own. Thank you and let’s just all grow up for God sake and embrace criticism especially when they are constructive Mr. PM.

  18. August 17, 2015

    Hope Gordon Henderson is taking note.????????

  19. Polisario
    August 17, 2015

    Cuba has been facing a Trade embargo by the US for five decades, causing serious economic hardships on the Cuban people. However, the Cubans would never sell their sovereignty, or diplomatic immunity. selling passports, misnamed Citizenship by Investment Programme.

    Skerritt and his DLP Cabal crook Cuba and disrespected the Black people of Sub-Saharan Africa. Skerritt established diplomatic relations with the occupier, colonial country Morocco., The Moroccan kingdom has been exploiting, oppressing the black people there for decades. Cuba has been giving support to the Polisario front fighting for years against that colonial Master.

    The UN has condemned, on several occasions the occupation of Black people land by Morocco. Tthe World has been calling for de-colonisation. Yet Morocco will not listen or budge and continue to impoverish and oppress the people there.

    Cuba knows about Skerritt and his double standards. They know of his deceptive style.

    August 17, 2015

    So this communist, marxist-leninist, castro loving skerrit should also tell that one party castro. police state, the have a free press, free elections, let the population own there property, and business, and then the embargo should be lifted. Without the embargo the castro”s would have never come to the table. And didn’t the fools in cuba joined ” COMECON” in 1972 saying they did not need or want to trade with america. O.k. how well did that work.

  21. bumble bee
    August 17, 2015

    Skerrit you are a hypocrite, first take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to cast of the mote Out of another’s eye.
    Your concerns has no bearing on America’s policy, you are oppressing the people of DA and you talking about Cuba. You are not going to get any money from Cuba because they read all about your waste and corruption, so you don’t have to fight their battle,

  22. Titiwi
    August 17, 2015

    Papa Bondi! Obama and Castro really care to know what Roosevelt Skerrit’ thinks about this? Next thing you know he claims credit for these new, postive developments. Pip down my boy an fix your own country first, small as it is your are unable to, do that. Have you forgotten how Cuba sent you home from the Celac meeting with your tail between your legs because you upset them with your agreement with the King of Morocco to keep our people in bondage?

  23. Francisco Telemaque
    August 17, 2015

    When people have nothing to do, they waste a lot of time getting involve in (ting) that does not concern them! I want to know between the people’ of the United States, and the Cuban people who cares what Skerrit whether Skerrit welcome the reestablished of diplomatic relationship with each country.

    In before 2008, prior to Obama been elected as president he said he would end the embargo on Cuba, and reestablish diplomatic relation. When Skerrit was in Cuba screaming like a little mouse caught in a mouse trap, “United States must lift de embargo on Cuba” the events of last week was long decided, and finalized!

    That mountain Chicken just want to be in ting! I doh have much to do,so I went out earlier crusing in me convertible, in triple digit heat, and get burnt up all over; soon a certain Mountain Chicken Crapo head will catch on fire, and I doh call no name cause I doh want DNO to kick me to the curb!

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah. The only place in Dominica…

  24. Tutankhamen
    August 17, 2015

    Look at Skerrit trying to be relevant. Go normalize relationships with the people of Salisbury and all those you continue to victimize. Obama doesn’t need your advice damn hypocrite.

  25. ....
    August 17, 2015

    Oh be quiet Skerrit. Focus on the country which you currently head… Focus on reducing poverty. Focus on providing jobs. FOCUS Skerrit… Keep your words and Focus!

  26. %
    August 17, 2015

    This is typical Skerrit and his hypocritical statements. Skerrit the lazy the DLP which you lead and mismanage, needs a normalization of relations with the people of SALISBURY.The wicked regime which you lead needs to STOP THE BLOCKAGE of the farm access roads OF THE SALISBURY PEOPLE! Your duplicitous tongue and garble means nothing here, since the USA must have their invisible tentacles on your regime long ago. Let other Caribbean heads talk to America not you. The USA won’t listen or read your crap!

  27. Referee
    August 17, 2015

    While I appreciate Mr. Skerrit’s comments on the improved relations between the Unites States and Cuba, comments that I fully endorse because of my belief that that the cold war is long over and the improved relations are long over due, I believe Mr. Skerrit should also make a parallel appeal to the Cuban authorities to allow free speech and the free flow of information on that island.
    The reality in Cuba is that people are currently being jailed for expressing views that run counter to the philosophy of the current government. If the Cuban authorities continue to maintain a tight grip on popular expression of political opinion, the diplomatic opening which Obama initiated is likely to be bear little fruit . Democratic freedom and economic freedom go hand in hand, and one reinforces the other.
    Cuba needs both in order to lift the veil of stagnation that has enveloped the country for the past half century
    Skerrit may be uncomfortable doing so since he too is intolerant of…

    • August 17, 2015

      Sir you talking about freedom in Cuba. What about freedom here in Dominica, don’t you realize we have a Dictator here in Dominica. Govt ministers can’t answer questions posed to them at news conferences. The PM steps in and says that only he is authorized to speak on behalf of the govt. The question asked of the Minister was about an item under his purview.
      Let’s not forget the reality of our Democracy which has been hijacked. Look at the Gordon Henderson incident, need I say more. Listen to the PM, everything he utters is I, I did this, I am going to do this etc.

      • Nonsense
        August 17, 2015

        Some of you Dominicans are so bias and idiotic…first of all Cuban is part of the Caribbean and have relation with Dominica so for any one to say the pm needs to mind his business is rather foolish…and second of all if Dominica had dictatorship….why are there private radio stations and those same private radio station disrespecting the pm calling him all kind of names….Dominica have too much freedom that is why you all can talk all kind of crap about the pm on the media and you all goes Scott free …now tell me if you can do that in a country that is not

    • The Real Facts
      August 17, 2015

      It will be difficult for dictatorship governments to relinquish their hold on their nationals. I would think they have much to fear.
      Should Cubans obtain freedom of speech and movement, consider many more will leave Cuba. This would not look good for their government. Yet these Cubans have been harnessed long enough. They deserve their human rights and dignity.

      • Francisco Telemaque
        August 18, 2015

        Well, dear madam Facts, since it is Skerrit who caused Obama to reestablish diplomatic relationship with Cuba by giving the United States an ultimatum that if America did not lift “emmmbaaarrrgoooooooo on Cuba” his Dominica army would attack America, and fight to last Dominica solider.

        I hear he done load all of his fleet of LIAT fighter jets with warheads ready to bomb the hell out of America.


        I suppose he also has the power over Castro to demand he relinquish, and abandon communism tyranny, and dictatorship, and free the people of Cuba.

  28. LANSAL
    August 17, 2015

    if America ever lift the trade embargo on those two brothers not cuba because it seem like is those two brothers that own cuba. well dominica will plunge deeper in the financial bucket we in.

    skerrit need to check his head

    • Titiwi
      August 17, 2015

      Lansal, as much as I know that communism does not work I can not agree with you. Cuba and U.S.A. need each other. Many countries are already doing business with Cuba, including European ones – Holland is Cuba’s largest export customer for instance (nickel) . Fact is U.S.A. is losing out. Believe me, whatever our doctrine business will always find a way to be conducted. Money talks, even for communists and the churches.

      • Francisco Telemaque
        August 18, 2015

        In what way does the United States need Cuba?

        If you say that Cuba need the United States, I would agree with you, the more than fifty years of conflict between the United States, had no effect on the economy of the United States, whereas it left Cuba with absolutely no economy.

        Cuba will now survive, because the there will now be a vibrant tourist industry in that country, and investors are already setting up business in Cuba. Cuba has seen more visitors in recent days than perhaps Dominica has seen in the more fifteen years reign of failure in Dominica. The way I see it is like this America has very little to gain from Cuba, whereas Cuba will profit from association with the United States.

  29. grell
    August 17, 2015

    Skerrit who are you to talk about normalizing relationships,stop abusing the poor and the farmers of Salisbury.

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