Approval of US envoy to Cuba unlikely: Senate majority leader

Washington, July 3 (IANS) Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has said it is “unlikely” his Republican party will support the confirmation of a US ambassador to Cuba, just a day after both countries announced the opening of their embassies after more than 50 years, Efe news agency reported.

“I’m having a hard time figuring out what we got out of this, you know? You would think that the normalisation of relations with Cuba would be accompanied by some modification of their behaviour,” McConnell said in a speech to businessmen in Kentucky on Thursday.

“I don’t see any evidence at all that they are going to change their behaviour. So I doubt if we’ll confirm an ambassador, they probably don’t need one,” he added.

McConnell called the island “a murderous regime” that is “a haven for criminals” fleeing US justice.

Since the bilateral thaw last December, many Republicans have been against an advancement of negotiations.

The Republicans can stall the appointment as they have a majority in the Congress.

Cuba and the US announced Wednesday re-establishment of diplomatic relations as of July 20, after more than half a century of disagreements.

Obama had called on the Congress to act soon on lifting the embargo on the island.

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