Vice-President Biden's Remarks on Cuba

Thursday, May 9, 2013
Vice-President Joe Biden spoke about Cuba during his remarks yesterday at the 43rd Annual Washington Conference of the Americas held at the U.S. State Department.

The following were his verbatim remarks:

In Cuba, we've seen some small encouraging signs from our perspective in recent years: the release of a number of political prisoners, lifting restrictions on travel, small economic reforms.

We've also seen continued arrests and abuses of people for speaking their mind and seeking a voice in their own affairs, including many arrests in the last year. The United State has made it possible for Cuban-Americans to visit and send remittances home to their families, but what we really want to do is encourage the next level of cooperation with Cuba: real change, meaningful change, permanent change. The kind of peaceful, democratic change courageous Cubans such as Oswaldo Paya and his fellow reformers advocated and promoted for so many years. So we'll continue to to take steps to support the Cuban people and a prosperous democratic future they deserve.

And I can't talk about Cuba without mentioning one case that has been one of the biggest obstacles in our bilateral relationship of late: the Cuban detention of Alan Gross. It's important to note that many supporters of engagement with Cuba have weighed in with the Cuban government to urge that he be released. We are committed to seeing Alan Gross come home and will work to make that happen.