Biden says US does not plan to lift Cuba embargo

“No,” Biden told reporters at a meeting in Chile when asked  if the United States planned to lift the embargo.

“We think that Cuban people should determine their own fate  and they should be able to live in freedom and have some  prospect of economic prosperity,” he added.

Several South American defence ministers this month urged  President Barack Obama to lift the embargo on Cuba, saying such  a move was crucial to improve US ties with the region.

“Obama and I made it clear during our campaign that we  thought there’s a need for transition in our policy toward  Cuba,” Biden added.

The US House of Representatives passed legislation last  month to ease restrictions on trade with Cuba and family travel  to the island. Supporters hoped the congressional action would be a first  step toward reviewing and possibly reversing the decades-old  US policy of shunning Cuba.

Obama has made clear he favours relaxing limits on family  travel and cash remittances by Cuban Americans to Cuba,  although he has said the US trade embargo should stay in  place to press for democratic reforms.

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