Havana, Sunday 23 de September de 2018 08:23 am

Raul: Normalization of Cuba-U.S.A. Bonds Includes Lifting of Blockade

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Raul: Normalization of Cuba-U.S.A. Bonds Includes Lifting of BlockadeHAVANA, Cuba, Jan 29 (acn) Army General Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party and President of the councils of State and Ministers, stated on Wednesday that the normalization of relations between Cuba and the U.S. will not be possible as long as the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington against Havana exists, among other issues.
The establishment of diplomatic relations is the beginning of a process towards normalization of bilateral relations, but this normalization won't be possible as long as the blockade exists; the territory illegally occupied by the Guantanamo Naval Base is not returned; radio broadcasts and television broadcasts violating international regulations don't cease; and there's no fair compensation to our people for the human and economic losses it has suffered, said the Cuban head of state.
While speaking at the 3rd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, under way in Costa Rica, the Cuban President also said that it would not be ethical, fair or acceptable to demand of Cuba nothing in return, highlights a note published on the Prensa Latina news agency Web site.
If these problems are not resolved, this diplomatic rapprochement between Cuba and the United States would be senseless, said the Cuban leader referring to the talks held last week in Havana between representatives of the two nations.
In addition, he continued, it can not be expected either that Cuba agrees to negotiate the aforementioned aspects for our internal affairs, absolutely sovereign.
President Barack Obama could use with determination his wide-ranging executive powers to substantially modify the implementation of the blockade, which he can do even without the decision of Congress, he stated.
Raul Castro pointed out that progress was made in the recent negotiation because we treated each other with respect, as equals. Further progress will have to be made in this way, he declared sententiously.
With regard to the talks, he pointed out that results show that governments that have profound differences can find solutions to problems through respectful dialogue and exchanges based on sovereign equality and reciprocity for the benefit of their respective nations.
As I have stated repeatedly, Cuba and the United States should learn the art of civilized coexistence based on respect for the differences between the two governments, and on cooperation in areas of common interest to contribute to the solution of the challenges faced by the hemisphere and the world, said Raul Castro.
But, he clarified, it should not be expected that for this Cuba has to give up its ideals of independence and social justice, to give in not even one of our principles or give an inch in the defense of national sovereignty.
We will not let ourselves be carried along by provocation or accept any pretension to advice or pressure on our internal affairs, he pointed out, adding that we have earned this sovereign right with great sacrifice and at the price of the greatest risks.
He asked if diplomatic relations could be reestablished without resuming financial services to the Interests Section of Cuba and its Consular Office in Washington, cut as a result of the financial blockade.
Also, he continued, how to explain the reestablishment of diplomatic relations without the removal of Cuba from the list of states sponsoring international terrorism.
What will be henceforth the conduct of U.S. diplomats in Havana regarding compliance with the regulations established by international conventions for diplomatic and consular relations, he also asked.

The current situation opens, modestly, an opportunity to the hemisphere to find new and higher forms of cooperation that are suitable for the two Americas, he underlined, adding that this would make it possible to resolve problems and break new ground.

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