Haiti key player in restoration of of relationship between Cuba and US

Haiti Pivotal in Resumption of U.S. - Cuba Relations. Haitian President Martelly was instrumental in helping normalize relations between Cuba and the U.S. that precipitated U.S. citizen Allan Gross's release from a Cuban prison. Martelly aided in facilitating negotiations between the U.S and Cuba, according to a statement issued by the President's Office of Communications.


In talks with Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, Martelly was able to persuade Nelson of Haiti's good relations with both the U.S. and Cuba that could help to ease long-standing tensions between them. When Martelly visited Cuba in 2013, he brought attention to the Grosse issue with Cuban officials, who agreed to discuss the matter with the Obama administration. Martelly got back to Nelson with the news, who then contacted the White House.

Vice President Joe Biden contacted Martelly to express his appreciation for Martelly's beneficial intervention to begin negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba, regarding Gross's release. Cuba accused Allan Gross of espionage in 2009,

convicting and sentencing him to 15 years in prison. Martelly helped set up the negotiations that eventually led to Cuba's releasing Gross on a humanitarian basis. The negotiations were part of a wide-ranging agreement to reinstitute diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Negotiations took place in Canada with Pope Francis encouraging a beneficial outcome. Pressure was also applied by the Caribbean region's CARICOM, who urged ". . . an immediate end to the economic, commercial, and financial embargo imposed by the government of the United States against Cuba."

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