Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cuba proposes bilateral talks with the U.S.

Bruno Rodríguez. Photo: La Radio del Sur
Cuba's foreign minister, Bruno Rodríguez, repeated his government's willingness to hold talks that could lead to a normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba.
He also hinted that Cuba is willing to trade jailed American Alan Gross for the Cuban Five.
Rodríguez said:
I reiterate, on behalf of President Raúl Castro Ruz, the firm willingness on the part of the Cuban government to move on towards the normalization of relations with the United States through a respectful dialogue, without preconditions, on the basis of reciprocity and sovereign equality, without undermining in the least our independence and sovereignty.

Today, here and now, I am again submitting to the US government a draft agenda for a bilateral dialogue aimed at moving towards the normalization of relations which includes, as fundamental topics:

  • the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade;
  • Cuba’s exclusion from the arbitrary and illegal list of terrorism-sponsoring countries;
  • the abrogation of the Cuban Adjustment Act and the wet foot/dry foot policy;
  • the compensation for economic and human damages;
  • the return of the territory occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base;
  • the end to the radio and TV aggressions, and;
  • the ceasing of the financing of internal subversion.

An essential element in this agenda is the release of the Five Cuban anti-terrorists who remain cruelly and unjustly imprisoned or retained in this country. An act of justice, or at least a humanitarian solution, will arouse the gratitude of my people and a response by our Government.

I likewise offer here and now the US government to negotiate several cooperation agreements in the areas of greatest mutual interest, such as the combat of drug trafficking, terrorism, human smuggling and for the full normalization of migratory relations, as well as for the prevention and mitigation of natural disasters and the protection of the environment and our common seas. We also propose to resume the talks that were unilaterally suspended by our counterpart about migration issues and for the resumption of postal services.

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