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US President Barack Obama extended the emergency declaration adopted in 1996 after the demolition, by the Cuban Army, of two civilian planes from the Cuban exile organization Brothers to the Rescue.

"The Cuban government has not demonstrated that it will refrain from using excessive force against US vessels or aircraft that can participate in commemorative activities or peaceful protests north of Cuba," the White House said in a statement.

Obama renewed for another year proclaiming that first aired, the March 1, 1996, then-President Bill Clinton, following the demolition of these planes on February 24 of that year.

The aircraft belonged to the Cuban exile group Brothers to the Rescue. According Havana violated the airspace of the island to disseminate propaganda material against the regime of Fidel Castro; however, an investigation by the International Civil Aviation Organization, endorsed by the Security Council of the UN, concluded that the demolition occurred in international airspace.

In fact US citizens died Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre and Mario de la Peña, besides the permanent resident Pablo Morales.

On February 26, 2004, Washington extended the state of emergency, including the regulation of fleet anchorage and movement of vessels in peaceful protest activities and homage.

Obama said the unauthorized entry of any vessel registered in the United States in Cuban territorial waters "remains detrimental" to the foreign policy of Washington.

The renewal of the declaration this year takes place in a new context, after the historic agreement last December between Obama and Raul Castro to start the restoration of diplomatic relations.

Precisely this Friday representatives of both sides will meet in Washington in the second round of talks, which will focus on the reopening of embassies at this stage.

Source: Diario de Cuba

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