Thursday, January 26, 2017

Raúl Castro says Cuba wants a ‘respectful dialogue’ with Trump

Raúl Castro says Cuba wants a 'respectful dialogue' with Trump

Making his first foreign trip since his brother Fidel's death, Raúl
Castro told leaders at the V Summit of the Community of Latin American
and Caribbean States that Cuba wants to continue its rapprochement with
the United States and have a dialogue with the Trump administration.

"I want to express the willingness of Cuba to continue negotiating on
pending bilateral matters with the United States on the basis of
equality, reciprocity and respect for the sovereignty and independence
of our country and to pursue a respectful dialogue and cooperation on
topics of common interest with the new government of President Donald
Trump," Castro said during a speech at the CELAC summit being held in
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and attended by 10 heads of state and 33
foreign ministers from the region.

Trump has made various pronouncements on U.S. relations with Cuba,
ranging from seeking a better deal in negotiations with Havana to
scrapping the Obama administration's opening unless Cuba makes political
concessions, including religious and political freedom for the Cuban
people. His nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has said the
Trump administration plans to review all former president Barack Obama's
executive orders underlying the rapprochement with Cuba.

"Cuba and the United States can cooperate and live together in a
civilized way, respecting our differences and promoting that which
benefits both countries and peoples," Castro said, "but one shouldn't
wait for Cuba to undertake inherent concessions to its sovereignty and

Castro didn't waste an opportunity to blast the U.S. embargo against the
island. "The economic, commercial and financial blockade persists,
causing considerable deprivations and human damages that gravely hurt
our economy and hinder development," he said.

His CELAC appearance was Castro's first foreign trip since the Nov. 25
death of his brother. He thanked Dominican President Danilo Medina for
his homage and remembrance of Fidel Castro in the opening session of the

Source: Cuba wants to pursue 'respectful dialogue' with President Trump
| Miami Herald -

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