Cuba urges US to ease relations

Cuban President Raul Castro says US should work harder on normalising their relations

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Cuba's President Raul Castro and US President Barack Obama during Summit of the Americas in Panama April 11, 2015

Cuba’s President Raul Castro has stated that the United States should put even more effort into easing relations between the two countries, while Cuba seems willing in trying to do so.

Castro, the younger brother of Fidel Castro, stated on Friday that the US is currently failing at normalising relations between the two countries.

Speaking on state TV, he said that they had "not made any progress", although he is happy at how US and Cuba relations have come along since Dec. 17, when he along with America’s President Barack Obama decided to normalise relations.

The two countries reinstated diplomatic bonds last July and agreed on establishing a direct mail service as well as protecting the environment. Moreover, the most recent achievement concerning the countries' ties is the re-organisation of scheduled airline flights, in the way they agreed on Thursday.

However, Castro said that more improvement is needed as Cuba wants to resolve issues such as ending the US trade embargo of Cuba, as well as actualising Cuba’s hope for United States to retract from the Navy base in Guantanamo Bay.

"The government of Cuba is fully willing to continue advancing in the construction of a kind of relation with the United States that is different from the one that has existed throughout its prior history, that is based on mutual respect for sovereignty and independence," Castro said.

Obama seeks to steer Cuba’s government to a new path during his scheduled visit to Cuba in 2016, as he said in a Yahoo News interview on Monday. He said he wants to "nudge the Cuban government in a new direction."

In addition, Castro said that human rights is an area  "on which we have profound differences and about which we are having an exchange on the basis of respect and reciprocity."

"No one should expect that, in order to normalize relations with the United States, Cuba will renounce the principles and ideals for which several generations of Cubans have struggled throughout more than half a century," Castro added.

TRTWorld and agencies