The United States on Thursday quickly rejected the idea of dialogue with Cuba's communist government, floated by its interim leader Raul Castro during the celebration of the Cuban Revolution Day, July 26.
"The only real dialogue he needs is with the Cuban people," State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said, after Raul Castro called for talks to end more than a half century of enmity between the neighbouring nations. "If the new US administration once and for all can set aside its overbearing nature and talk in a civilized fashion, that will be most welcome," Raul Castro, 76, told thousands of Cubans at a rally in Camaguey marking Cuba's national day, missed for the first time by his convalescing brother Fidel Castro, 80. "The new administration will have to decide if it continues with the absurd, illegal and failed policy towards Cuba or if it accepts dialogue" added Raul Castro. McCormack shot back: "I think that if the Cuban people were able to express the opinion on the question of whether or not they would like to freely choose their leaders, the answer would probably be yes". "Unfortunately, that is not the dialogue that is taking place in Cuba at the moment". "So we look forward to the day when the Cuban people do have the opportunity to have that free and open dialogue. The dialogue needs to happen in Cuba." However this is the third time that Raul Castro who has been Defence minister since the victory of the revolution in 1959, extended a similar dialogue proposal to United States since he took over from his brother. The first was August 18 in an interview with the government's newspaper Granma and the second last December 2 during a military parade to honour his brother. "If not we are willing to continue confronting the US policy for another fifty years if necessary", he added underlining that in Cuba there will be "no transition or paralysis", since these are merely "fantasy dreams". The United States and Cuba do not have full diplomatic relations. The United States has had a trade embargo clamped on Havana for 45 years.