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Cuba's Desire to Open its Economy is Stymied by Refusal to Cede Control, U.S. Officials Say

November 02, 2015

U.S. government officials who are playing a key role in firming up ties with the Cuban regime and paving the road to more open trade and travel, say that there have been important strides.

But they stressed that big challenges also loom – among the most formidable is a reluctance by Cuban officials to loosen or cede control over the way business is done on the island, and over telecommunications.

Alex Lee, the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for South America and Cuba, said at a symposium on Cuba on Friday in New York City that undoubtedly  there’s been “a profound shift in paradigm in relation toward Cuba.”

“We have moved smartly … to initiate a variety of changes,” even amid the restrictions posed by the decades-long trade embargo, Lee said. “The regulatory changes are real significant…we identified areas we want both countries to expand....”

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