Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has said his government was ready for a “respectful” dialogue with the US and noted that there was “less tension” and “less rhetoric against Cuba” since President Barack Obama took power.

There is no change in US policy, however, because the economic blockade of Cuba “remains intact and is applied to its full extent”, Rodriguez said at a press conference on the third and last day of his state visit to Japan.

“The economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba remains intact and is applied to its full extent,” Mr. Rodriguez said on Tuesday. He added that Obama “could use his executive powers” to “modify aspects of the blockade’s application”.

“We acknowledge President Obama’s good intentions and honesty and we treat him with respect,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

“The Cuban government is ready for a respectful dialogue at any level with the United States.”

He noted that in recent months there had been “official talks on migration subjects and on a direct postal service” with the US, which have been “respectful and productive”, and that in July Cuba presented the Americans with “a proposed agenda for an eventual bilateral dialogue”.

“We await an answer from the US government,” Mr. Rodriguez told about reporters at Japan’s National Press Club.