Monday, January 26, 2015

Fidel Castro: "I do not trust U.S. policy"

Fidel Castro's signature
Below is a message from Fidel Castro to Cuba's Federation of University Students. Castro seems to distance himself from his younger brother Raul Castro's moves to renew diplomatic ties with the United States.
The former Cuban president writes:
I do not trust U.S. policy nor have I exchanged a word with them.
Mensaje de Fidel a la FEU
El líder de la Revolución Cubana, Fidel Castro, le hizo llegar un mensaje a la Federación Estudiantil Universitaria

Autor: Fidel Castro Ruz | internet@granma.cu
26 de enero de 2015 20:01:21
Para mis compañeros de la Federación Estudiantil Universitaria

Queridos compañeros:

Desde el año 2006, por cuestiones de salud incompatibles con el tiempo y el esfuerzo necesario para cumplir un deber —que me impuse a mí mismo cuando ingresé en esta Universidad el 4 de septiembre de 1945, hace 70 años—, renuncié a mis cargos.

No era hijo de obrero, ni carente de recursos materiales y sociales para una existencia relativamente cómoda; puedo decir que escapé milagrosamente de la riqueza. Muchos años después, el norteamericano más rico y sin duda muy capaz, con casi 100 mil millones de dólares, declaró ―según publicó una agencia de noticias el pasado jueves 22 de enero—, que el sistema de producción y distribución privilegiada de las riquezas convertiría de generación en generación a los pobres en ricos.

Desde los tiempos de la antigua Grecia, durante casi 3 mil años, los griegos, sin ir más lejos, fueron brillantes en casi todas las actividades: física, matemática, filosofía, arquitectura, arte, ciencia, política, astronomía y otras ramas del conocimiento humano. Grecia, sin embargo, era un territorio de esclavos que realizaban los más duros trabajos en campos y ciudades, mientras una oligarquía se dedicaba a escribir y filosofar. La primera utopía fue escrita precisamente por ellos.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cuba: U.S. must lift blockade

Gustavo Machín, deputy director general of U.S. Department at Minrex
Here's what Cuba's delegation said after talks ended today:

On January 22, 2015, talks between delegations of the United States and Cuba were held to define the steps to take in order to formalize the decision announced by Presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama on December 17, 2014, to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries. The US delegation was led by Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the State Department, Roberta S. Jacobson, and the Cuban delegation by the director general of Foreign Ministry's United States' Department, Josefina Vidal Ferreiro.

In the meeting, which took place in a respectful and constructive climate, the Cuban delegation said that diplomatic relations must be based on the principles of international law and the United Nations Charter, including it sovereign equality, equal rights and self determination of peoples, and non-intervention in the internal affairs of states. They must also abide by the Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, which regulate the conduct of diplomatic and consular missions and their staff.

Hi-res photos of U.S.-Cuba talks

Josefina Vidal leads the Cuban delegation
CubaDebate's Flickr photostream has high-resolution photos of the historic talks between the United States and Cuba. The talks continue today.
The Cuban delegation
Capturing the moment
The U.S. delegation


U.S.: "Respectful and thoughtful dialogue" with Cuba

Alex Lee. Photo: Reuters
Here's a brief statement from Alex Lee, deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs:
Today, January 21, 2015, U.S. and Cuban officials met in Havana to discuss technical issues related to the Migration Accords of 1994 and 1995 between the United States and Cuba. The Cuban delegation was chaired by the Foreign Ministry’s Director General for U.S. Affairs, Josefina Vidal Ferreiro. I led the delegation for the United States. The United States hosted the last round of these semi-annual talks in July 2014 in Washington.
The United States and Cuba restated their commitment under the Migration Accords to ensure that migration between the two countries remains safe, legal and orderly. They also agreed to regularly review the implementation of these Accords. Continuing to ensure safe and legal migration between Cuba and the United States is consistent with our interest in promoting greater freedoms and increased respect for human rights in Cuba.