Raul Castro asks a respectful Cuba dialog from US
At least Raul Castro is seeking a dialog with the US. I have been waiting for the new Trump administration to mention Cuba. During the campaign he always said Cuba needed to show progress in human rights if relations are to thaw.
It’s only been a week since Trump’s inauguration, so it’s too early to expect anything yet, but at least Raul Castro says he is open to “respectful dialog”. That’s a positive opening statement from Cuba; let’s hope we have a similar statement from the US.
Donald Trump is blunt and forthright, which turns some people off, but that might be good for Cuba over the long haul. I did not trust either Republicans or Democrats when it came to Cuba. A half century of failed embargo is ridiculous. Politicians on both sides were too afraid of offending Cuban Americans to too anything but rant and rave.
Trump is tough, but at least he is not a politician. What he does with Cuba will be based upon facts and not politics. A blunt Castro and a blunt Trump may find common ground.
Here are excerpts from Castro’s statements Wednesday as reported by the Jamaica Observer.
BAVARO, Dominican Republic (AFP) —
Cuba is willing to hold “respectful dialogue” with Donald Trump, President Raul Castro said Wednesday, following the new US leader’s warnings that he may halt the two countries’ rapprochement.
“I wish to express Cuba’s desire to continue negotiating on current bilateral issues with the United States on a basis of equality, reciprocity and respect for the sovereignty and independence of our country,” Castro said.
He added that he was willing “to pursue respectful dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest with the new government of President Donald Trump.”
Castro, 85, was addressing a summit of the 33-nation Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), meeting in the Dominican Republic.
Trump said in November he may end the diplomatic thaw if Cuba does not make more concessions on human rights — an issue on which Havana has refused to be lectured.
Castro warned Wednesday that although the two countries could “cooperate and live together in a civilized way,” Cuba could not be expected to “make concessions on matters inherent to its sovereignty and independence.”
Raul Castro has gradually loosened some trade restrictions and seems to vacillate on economic restrictions since taking over Cuba in 2005. We hope for lessening restrictions as Fidel’s reigns slides further into the past. Fidel died on November 25th, 2016.
Raul states that
The restoration of diplomatic ties by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama and Castro in 2015 was a historic breakthrough in a Cold War dispute dating to the 1950s.
Since Raul Castro took the reins of power from his brother Fidel in 2006, Cuba has gradually opened up its economy and foreign relations. Fidel Castro died on November 25.
Raul also re-emphasized that the embargo still causes “considerable deprivation” on the communist island