Press release

Seychelles welcomes normalization of relations between US and Cuba and urges that embargo be ended as soon as possible

December 18, 2014

Speaking at a press conference following the signature of an memorandum of understanding on partnership between the Republic of Seychelles and the Republic of Cuba on cooperation in the agricultural sector, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam has stated that the Seychelles Government welcomed the recent development to normalise relations between the United States and Cuba as announced by both President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro.

As such, the Government of Seychelles commends the leadership of both Presidents who are positively rewriting history and setting this process in motion.

“Overcoming one of these last vestiges of the cold war will reshape the global diplomatic landscape and inherently promote peace and build more resilient and more inclusive international partnerships. Seychelles enjoys excellent relations with both the US and Cuba. We have always been of the view that the strained relationship between the US and Cuba has not been conducive to sustainable development of both the American and the Cuban people and the wider region, and we are encouraged that such positive steps are being taken to resolve this.  We also hope that the this normalization process will lead to a full removal of the embargo currently in place,” the Minister remarked.

The Minister stated that the Government of Seychelles is particularly encouraged that as part of the normalisation process the ‘Cuban 5’ (five Cuban citizens detained in Florida) have been returned to their home country while US citizen Alan Gross (A US citizen detained in Cuba) has also returned to the US.

The Minister also recalled that Seychelles has consistently called for the lifting of the embargo against Cuba asisland states are particularly dependent on trade. In the context of the US-Cuba relationship- the lack of possibilities for trade and exchange between the two countries which are close geographical neighbors, represents one of the primary obstacles to sustainable development of Cuba, but also of the wider Caribbean region and the Americas as a whole.

In this context he has urged that the positive measures taken thus far are reinforced through the expeditious removal of the current embargo facing the Republic of Cuba as this remains one of the foremost hindrances for the development of the Cuban people.