The recent rapprochement between Washington and Havana did not keep the Cuban diplomats at the United Nations from demanding "self-determination and independence" for the people of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, the official Cuban News Agency (ACN) reported.

The Communist country will present a draft resolution on the "colonial status of Puerto Rico," which the newswire deemed "a gesture ratifying the commitment of Cuba to that sister Caribbean nation." Cuba plans to submit the document to the Special Decolonization Committee on June 22, according to multilateral affairs and international law official Juana Elena Ramos Rodríguez.

"It calls on the U.S. government to assume its responsibility in this process so that Puerto Ricans enjoy their rights," according to ACN.

Today, Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory that the U.S. Supreme Court has qualified as "a territory appurtenant and belonging to the United States, but not a part of the United States." Residents of the Caribbean island are U.S. citizens and pay taxes but may not participate in presidential elections and are represented in Congress by a non-voting delegate.

The United Nations General Assembly voted in 1953 to recognize the island's self-government and removed it from its list of non-self-governing territory. Nevertheless, Puerto Rico's political status is still debated in many international forums.

"Among the most significant elements to be presented ... will be that of demanding that the government of the United States assume the responsibility of embarking on a process that would allow the Puerto Rican people to fully exercise their inalienable right to self-determination, to independence and to decisionmaking in a sovereign manner," noted Granma.

Those steps were necessary to help the island "tend to its urgent economic and social needs," the mouthpiece of the Cuban Communist Party added.

Ramos, meanwhile, also stressed the government of Cuban leader Raúl Castro would again ask President Barack Obama to release Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist and one-time head of the island's Armed Forces of National Liberation, Cuba Headlines noted.

López is currently serving a 55-year sentence for seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, conspiracy to transport explosives, among other convictions.