Cuban leader Raul Castro remarked today that he's interesting in mending relations with the US on one condition: that the mending take place between equals.
"We are nobody's colony, nobody's puppet" Castro told audiences celebrating Cuba's "Revolution Day," a date marking the anniversary of a daring but failed attempt to overthrow the country's previous government. But he also stated, "If [US leaders] want to talk, the table is set." He spoke from Guantanamo, the location of a US naval base that Cuba has demanded be shut down.Reports say that Castro is willing to place every issue on the table, from freedom of the press to human rights on the island nation.
Assuming such talks took place, they could lead to the dismantling of a 50-year-old embargo that has cut off nearly all travel and trade to the island.
Via CBS News.
Raul made this comment as well... From the source article...
"'Some small factions are doing nothing less than trying to lay the groundwork and hoping that one day what happened in Libya will happen here, what they're trying to make happen in Syria,' Castro said."
I'd have to say that despite the violence that Libyans experienced, they are not sorry for what happened last year. I admit the comparison to Syria may still be valid. We'll have to wait and see.
That's not to say that I'm for violent revolution in Cuba.. The next part of the source article is what gives me hope that it may not be necessary.
"Castro also reminisced about the 1959 Revolution, promised that Cuba will complete a trans-island expressway halted years ago for lack of funds, empathized with islanders' complaints about meager salaries and said once again that his five-year plan to overhaul Cuba's socialist economy will not be done hastily."
It's hard to see between the fond memories for the Communist Revolution led by his brother and the reminder of Stalin's "five-year plans" but Raul isn't his brother and he did say he wanted to overhaul the "socialist economy". I know it depends on what is meant by "overhaul" but if Liberty for Cubans is actually on the table... There's hope.
"From one socialist to another, now is the time to get into bed before your people vote you out"- Raul Castro.
On a more serious note, Cuba is worth talking to if for no other reason than their strategic proximity to the US. Their economy has faltered and has recently started relaxing laws on entrepreneurship. It took off like a rocket. Go figure. Funny how capitalism tends to be embraced by those willing to work. Next they'll want more political freedom. This may indeed be the time to see what we can negotiate with Cuba for the betterment of both countries.
I think you might be on to something. It would be a plus for both countries. I think that Raul might be positioning himself for a Romeny administration where capitalism would not be compromised and integrity is easier to come by.
Well, Castro stole from the Americans $ 1.5 billion dollars in 1961 and paid nothign...he also took all private property away from cubans. Castro should open the country up and be ready to accept multiparty and freedom of speech, religion and free enterprise. ra
The fact that Raul Castro is even in power, having inherited it from his brother like a monarchy, shows the state of freedom there. It isn't the US Castro should be negotiating with but the dissident leaders among his own people who have been jailed and punished for advocating for liberty. If the US can help to make that happen, well and good. If Castro's goal is merely to end the embargo by putting up a Potemkin village of reform, that's a different story.
I am not against talking with any nation, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, even the Taliban, but to some the goal is talks without substance, to show their people how important they are that the US sits down with them as an "equal".
Yes. People are going to say, "but he inherited leadership from his brother, the signs of a regime..." GUESS WHAT, folks? Cuba is not an American Territory. What THEY do that doesn't threaten US should be THEIR business. We ARE NOT the world police.
My guess is that this isn't likely to happen before the general election. I hope it does, because we could be a much better force for change there with an actual relationship with Cuba.
And, the fact that the expat Cuban community happens to be in a swing state is annoying to no end. It is totally unreasonable to NOT have relations with Cuba after 50 years. Seriously, who is it helping at this point.
its funny how its getting close to elections and all of a sudden cuba comes out of the blue wanting to talk and with a president that is questionable about what he is really trying to do to this country so think about all the stuff that obama has been questioned about but never really was made to show any evidence to prove...... if obama gets back in office its over cuba and the US will be talking but about what and thats going to be the million dollar question.... obama is sneaky you never know he could turn it around and be getting advice about how to run the US more like cuba