[Marxism] Raúl Castro re limited achievements of diplomatic talks to date

Art Young artyoung100 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 22 11:17:07 MST 2015


Circulated by Linda Meissenheimer, co-coordinator of the Toronto-based group
Friends of Cuba Against the US Blockade, with this comment  -- 

 

A useful summary by Raúl of achievements, despite which he declares “...
this year we have not made any progress in the solution of those issues
which are essential for Cuba to be able to have normal relations with the
United States.”

 

http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2015-12-18/statement-by-the-president-of-the-counci
ls-of-state-and-ministers-army-general-raul-castro-ruz 

 

December 18, 2015

 

Statement by the President of the Councils of State and Ministers Army
General Raúl Castro Ruz

 

Declaration by Army General Raúl Castro on the occasion of the first
anniversary of the announcements made on December 17, 2014, regarding the
decision to reestablish diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United
States

 

One year has gone by since the simultaneous announcements made on December
17, 2014, by the presidents of Cuba and the United States to re-establish
diplomatic relations between both countries and work to improve our
relations.

 

One year ago, on a day like yesterday, as part of the agreements reached to
find a solution to issues of interest for both countries, we were able to
announce, to the great joy of all of our people, the return to our homeland
of Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio, with which we made true the promise made by
Fidel who had asserted that our Five Heroes would return.

 

On that same date, in accordance with our reiterated disposition to hold a
respectful dialogue with the Government of the United States, on the basis
of sovereign equality, to discuss a wide variety of issues in a reciprocal
way, without any detriment to our people’s national independence and
self-determination, we agreed to take mutual steps to improve the bilateral
atmosphere and move on towards the normalization of relations between the
two countries.

 

It could be said that, since then, we have achieved some results,
particularly in the political, diplomatic and cooperation spheres:

 

•   Diplomatic relations were re-established and the embassies in both
countries were re-opened. These actions were preceded by the rectification
of the unjust designation of Cuba as a State sponsor of terrorism.

 

•   High level meetings and visits have taken place.

 

•   The already existing cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as
aviation safety and security as well as the combat against drug-trafficking,
illegal migration, alien smuggling and migration fraud has been expanded.
The regular and respectful meetings between the military commands of Cuba
and the United States in the perimeter of the U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo
have continued.

 

•   New possibilities for bilateral cooperation have opened up in areas of
mutual benefit, such as environmental protection, law enforcement, maritime
and port security and health.

 

•   New dialogues have been initiated on bilateral and multilateral topics
of interest, such as climate change, mutual compensations, traffic in
persons and human rights, this latter being the one on which we have
profound differences and about which we are having an exchange on the basis
of respect and reciprocity.

 

•   We have signed agreements on environmental protection and the
re-establishment of direct postal services.

 

All of this has been achieved through a professional and respectful dialogue
based on equality and reciprocity.

 

Quite on the contrary, this year we have not made any progress in the
solution of those issues which are essential for Cuba to be able to have
normal relations with the United States.

 

Although President Obama has repeatedly stated his opposition to the
economic, commercial and financial blockade and has urged Congress to lift
it, this policy remains in force. The persecution of Cuba’s legitimate
financial transactions as well as the extraterritorial impact of the
blockade, which causes damages and hardships to our people and is the main
obstacle to the development of the Cuban economy, have been tightened.

 

The steps taken so far by President Obama, although positive, have proved to
be limited in scope, which has prevented their implementation. By using his
executive prerogatives, the President could expand the scope of the steps
that have already been taken and take new steps that would substantially
modify the implementation of the blockade.

 

Despite Cuba’s repeated claim for the return of the territory illegally
occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base, the Government of the United States
has stated that is has no intention to change the status of that enclave.

 

The U.S. Government is still implementing programs that are harmful to
Cuba’s sovereignty, such as the projects aimed at bringing about changes in
our political, economic and social order and the illegal radio and
television broadcasts, for which they continue to allocate millions of
dollars in funds.

 

A preferential migration policy continues to be applied to Cuban citizens,
which is evidenced by the enforcement of the wet foot/dry foot policy, the
Medical Professional Parole Program and the Cuban Adjustment Act, which
encourage an illegal, unsafe, disorderly and irregular migration, foment
human smuggling and other related crimes and create problems to other
countries.

 

The Government of Cuba will continue to reiterate that, in order to
normalize relations, it is imperative for the U.S. Government to derogate
all these policies that date from the past, which affect the Cuban people
and nation and are not in tune with the present bilateral context and the
will expressed by both countries to re-establish diplomatic relations and
develop respectful and cooperative relations between both peoples and
governments.

 

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.
The right of every State to choose the economic, political and social system
it wishes, without any interference whatsoever, should be respected.

 

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, that is beneficial to both
countries and peoples and that is nurtured by the historical, cultural and
family links that have existed between Cubans and Americans.

 

Cuba, in fully exercising its sovereignty and with the majority support of
its people, will continue to be engaged in the process of transformations to
update its economic and social model, in the interest of moving forward in
the development of the country, improving the wellbeing of the people and
consolidating the achievements attained by the Socialist Revolution.

 

Thank you.




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