Cuba offers dialogue in Washington, without renouncing socialism

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President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Thursday expressed Cuba’s readiness to discuss “any subject” with the United States, where Joe Biden is to succeed Donald Trump in January, without renouncing socialism.

“As has already been said with sufficient clarity, we are ready to discuss any subject. What we are not prepared to negotiate, what we will not give up a centimeter on, is revolution, socialism and our sovereignty ”, declared Mr. Diaz-Canel at the end of the annual session of Parliament. Cuban.

“Principles will never be on the table,” insisted the Cuban president, who spoke six years to the day after the restoration of relations between Havana and Washington.

Adversaries since the revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959, the United States and Cuba have operated under the leadership of presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro a historic rapprochement which in 2015 allowed the re-establishment of diplomatic relations.

But after Donald Trump arrived at the White House in 2017, the United States tightened the embargo it has imposed on Cuba since 1962, citing human rights violations in Cuba and the support of La Havana to the Chavista government of Venezuela.

Mr. Diaz-Canel stressed that 2020 “has been a tough and demanding year like few others”, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the strengthening of the blockade by the administration of Republican President Donald Trump.

During the campaign for the US presidential election on November 3, Democrat Joe Biden announced that if elected he would move quickly to “remove Trump’s restrictions on money transfers and travel” which hurt Cubans and separate families, in an interview with the opposition digital media Cibercuba.

Mr. Diaz-Canel said Thursday that in the context of the election campaign in the United States, anti-Castro Cuban circles in Florida had tried to create “a situation of instability and tension” with the aim, according to him, “To make impossible any return to dialogue (American-Cuban) in the event of a democratic victory”.

In this context, he referred to the ten-day protest movement led last November by 14 members of a Cuban artists’ collective called the San Isidro Movement (MSI) to demand the release of a rapper arrested a few days later. early.

The evacuation by the police of a house in Havana where the protesters had taken refuge sparked an unusual demonstration on 27 November in front of the Ministry of Culture in favor of freedom of expression.

Referring to this episode, during which the Ministry of Culture refused to discuss with people he accused of being funded by the United States, Mr. Diaz-Canel blasted “extra-artistic claims whose obvious goal was to serve as a springboard for projects of confrontation already known, with the objective of creating a political opposition ”.

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