Streams

Raúl Castro: U.S. And Cuba Can Have 'Civilized Relationship'

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cuban President Raúl Castro says the U.S. and Cuba could have a "civilized relationship."

BBC Mundo reports that in a rare speech, Castro said that over the past year U.S. and Cuban officials have met to talk about immigration and restarting mail service between the two countries.

That proves, Castro said, that relations between the two counties could be civilized.

"If we truly want to further bilateral relations, we're going to have to respect our mutual differences and learn to live peacefully with them," Castro said. Otherwise, he added, Cuba is ready to continue with the same kind of relationship it's had with the U.S. for 55 years.

"We don't demand that the United States change its political and social system, nor will we negotiate with ours," Castro said.

Of course, this all comes about two weeks after President Obama and Castro shook hands at Nelson Mandela's memorial service in South Africa.

At the time, analysts wondered if the simple gesture would lead to a thawing of relations between the Cold War foes.

When that handshake happened, NPR's David Green talked to Dan Restrepo, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former adviser to Obama on Latin America.

Restrepo said that Obama's main approach to Cuba has been to insist that:

"... the Cuban people should get to decide Cuba's future. Certainly not the U.S. government and not the Castro brothers. And unfortunately and sadly, Raúl Castro has shown no indication of going along with that part of what change would mean in Cuba."

In other words, if you take Restrepo's analysis of the Obama administration's policy toward the U.S. and compare it with what Castro said on Saturday, you're pretty much left with the status quo.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

Tags:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.