Cuban President Raúl Castro Ruz said that Cuba wouldn’t give up its hard-fought political values. Calling for mutual respect in the new development of relations with the USA, Castro stated that Cuba would continue on the socialist path, speaking to the Cuban National Assembly on Saturday, “In the same way that we’ve never demanded that the USA change its political system, we’d demand respect for ours”.
Expressing gratitude to Barack Obama for his initiative to open a “new chapter” in the two countries’ history by deciding to lift the blockade, Castro emphasised that the US president’s move would in no way influence Cuba to abandon the ideals it’s struggled to uphold for over half a century. He said, “Cuba is a sovereign country, its people determined its path to socialism and expressed their will through its political system, shedding their blood to stand for their national ideals. The USA must respect Cuba’s communist system, even while the two countries work on advancing their relations, for Cuba is ready to dialogue on a range of issues, on terms of mutual respect”.
Castro said that he’d attend the Summit of Americas next year in Panama, which would be the seventh meeting of the 34-nation bloc, with Cuba participating for the first time. Everyone expects that Castro would have further discussions with President Obama at the meeting, although the list of American delegates isn’t yet final. Having reassured the Assembly and the Cuban people that this new political turn wouldn’t lead to Cuba renouncing its ideas, Castro saluted his older brother,Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, closing his speech with “Viva Fidel!” No one has seen Fidel since Washington’s decision to reset diplomatic ties with Havana and the announcement of a prisoner exchange earlier this week.
20 December 2014