Friday, October 02, 2009

Costa Rica names ambassador to Cuba

Minister of the Presidency Rodrigo Arias(Photo by Getty Images)(Havana Times) - The Costa Rican government named journalist and diplomat Jose Maria Penabad as its ambassador to Cuba, informed the minister of the presidency, Rodrigo Arias. The official had acted as the Costa Rican consul to Cuba since 2003.

Until earlier this year, Costa Rica, El Salvador and the United States were the only countries on the American continent without diplomatic relations with Cuba. Costa Rica had severed ties with Cuba back in 1961.

“Today, it makes no sense to play the official coldness when we have opened channels of cooperation in diverse areas, when we have consular relations and commercial relations with Havana of some importance, and even direct flights between our capitals,” said Costa Rican President Oscar Arias back in March with the resumption of official diplomatic ties was announced.

Now, with ties restored between Havana with the two Central American countries, the only country to continue to shun Cuba is the United States, which also maintains a half-century economic blockade on the island and a travel ban that prohibits its citizens from visiting the neighboring country.

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