[:es]Pompeo Says He would Work for Better Ties between U.S. and Cuba[:]


Washington, Apr 14.- The nominee by President Donald Trump as the new U.S. secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said during his confirmation hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday that he would be willing to work to improve relations with Cuba.


The director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), who was chosen by Trump to replace Rex Tillerson in that post, was asked about the relations with Cuba by Republican Senator Jeff Flake (Arizona) and Democratic Senator Tom Udall (New Mexico).

Flake recalled that the presence of U.S. officials in the embassy in Havana is very small and noted the importance of having a larger staff.

For his part, Udall also referred to the significant reduction in the number of U.S. officials in Cuba and asked Pompeo if he would work to improve links with Havana, ‘a relationship that benefits many states, in the hope of increasing trade with the island’.

The Democratic senator said, ‘I have spoken about how many governors have gone to Cuba and have seen that there are 11 million people to whom we want to sell food and agricultural products. Will you work to improve ties with Cuba?’

‘The answer to your question is yes,’ said Pompeo, who spoke about ‘concerns’ about the presence of U.S. officials in Havana after diplomats from the U.S. Embassy reported health incidents used as a justification to reduce the personnel.

‘We will build out a team there that will deliver American diplomacy to Cuba in a way that represents the finest of American diplomacy,’ he added.