Cuban President Raul Castro was received with a standing ovation as he readied to address the VII Summit of the Americas, held in Panama City, in a historic presentation. The Caribbean leader stressed the importance of the rapprochement with the United States but questioned the US policy towards Venezuela.
“It’s about time I spoke in the Summit on behalf of Cuba,” Castro said, causing a loud cheer from state representatives inside the Atlapa Convention Center.
“And as you owe me six summits… six by eight [which were the minutes granted for each President] equals 48. So I should be allowed to speak for 48 minutes,” he added jokingly.
Castro, who met with US President Barak Obama before the conference and shook hands in a symbolically charged gesture, praised the rapprochement with the United States expressing his will to move forward with a “respectful dialogue between the two countries.”
The Cuban leader said his goal is to develop “a civilized relationship between our two Nations, taking into account our profound differences.”
Castro thanked Obama for announcing he will ask the US Congress to work to put an end to the Cuban embargo, and apologized for his strong questioning of the policy.
“I apologize to President Obama for having expressed myself like that. I apologize because Obama does not have responsibility for that policy; the 10 presidents before him do. Everyone owes us, except for President Obama,” Castro said.
He added he appreciated the US President’s decision to take Cuba out of the “terrorist list”: “We should have never been on that list,” he said, criticizing former US President Ronald Reagan.
Castro then questioned the US decision to include Venezuela as a “national threat”, like Argentine President Cristina Fernandez and Ecuador President Rafael Correa did before in the Summit.
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Mr Castro showed good grace by apologising. Mrs Kirchner could learn a lot from him but as she will be gone soon it doesn't really matter.Apr 12th, 2015 - 09:28 am 0
“I apologize to President Obama for having expressed myself like that. I apologize because Obama does not have responsibility for that policy; the 10 presidents before him do. Everyone owes us, except for President Obama,”Apr 12th, 2015 - 12:38 pm 0
Responsibility? Nothing to do with Russian IRBMs then? Here's a few tips, Castro. You seem to be nearly as thick as your Auntie Alicia. Be grateful. Be very, very grateful. The embargo could resume any time. Think of yourself as being on probation.
Which came first? Bay of Pigs or invitation to USSR to IRBMs? US policy towards Cuba was as immorally bellicose as US policy towards Vietnam. The US tried to overthrow the government of Cuba by force. The designation by the US that Cuba is a state sponsor of terror (with attendant sanctions) is soul witheringly ironic.Apr 12th, 2015 - 02:56 pm 0
Why wouldn't Cuba align itself with the USSR, a world power that had a government friendly (and generous) to it? The my country, right or wrong mentality of most Americans is a product of US corporate capitalist propaganda. Most people in the USA can't even define Communism/Socialism, but have been brain washed into abhorring it without even recognizing that their own system has aspects of Socialism, e.g Medicare, Social Security, etc.
The disparity in the distribution of wealth in the US is criminal to anyone with a sane sense of justice and morals. Both the Pope and Castro have now joined with many prominent economists around the world in denouncing the current
state of affairs in the US. Raise taxes on the wealthy!!