HAVANA May 29 The head of the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce on Thursday urged Cuba to speed up and extend
market-style economic reforms, calling the changes a potential
path toward better relations with the United States.
Chamber President Thomas Donohue concluded his three-day
visit to the communist-ruled island with a speech at Havana
University attended by Foreign Investment Minister Rodrigo
Malmierca, a host of other Cuban officials and students.
"The more Cuba can do to demonstrate its commitment to
reform, and the more it can do to address and resolve disputes
in our relations, the better the prospects will be for changes
in U.S. policy," said Donohue, who reiterated the chamber's
longtime opposition to the decades-old U.S. trade embargo of
He praised reforms that have tripled the number of small
private business to 450,000 while allowing more than 2,000 farm
cooperatives and 400,000 private farmers to grow food on their
But he also said that Cuba had more to do and cited China
and Vietnam as examples where communist countries have raised
living standards by turning toward more market-oriented
"We hope these changes continue and urge that they be
expanded. Businesses throughout the global economy will
respond," said Donohue, a champion of capitalism and free
enterprise and an influential voice in U.S. politics.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta, editing by G Crosse)