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Raul Castro Confirms Willingness to Talk to U.S. as Equals

by Prensa Latina

Guantanamo, Cuba, Jul 26 (Prensa Latina) President Raul Castro reiterated here Thursday Cuba”s willingness to establish an open dialogue with the United States, as equals, to deal with the interests of both countries.

“The day they are ready, the table is set, and this has been communicated through the regular diplomatic channels. If they want to hold a discussion we will do so, but on equal terms, because we are no-one’s subjects, nor a colony, nor anyone’s puppets,” he said in a speech marking the main ceremony at the event marking Cuba’s National Day of Rebellion.

At the Mariana Grajales Revolution Square in Guantanamo, located over 900 kilometers east of Havana, the president reconfirmed Cuba’s commitment to peace and its willingness to have friendly relations with anyone, including the United States.

“If they want confrontation, it must be in sports, preferably baseball (a hugely popular sport in both countries), nothing else,” he told the thousands of people gathered in commemoration of the assault on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes garrisons on July 26, 1953.

Raul Castro called for bilateral understanding in relations that have been affected by more than half a century of hostility from Washington, mainly through an economic, commercial and financial blockade against the island that has caused losses of more than $975 billion dollars, according to official data.

“We must respect one another, you cannot run the world, that’s crazy, especially on the basis of repeated lies,” he stressed.

In his speech, the President noted that the U.S. government longs for the return to the days of the first half of the twentieth century, during which it exercised absolute control over Cuba until the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959.

He also warned of the existence of factions within the Caribbean that seek to create conditions for a repeat of situations such as those in Libya and Syria, countries targeted by the so-called doctrine of regime change promoted by the White House and its allies.

In this regard, he assured that the island is prepared to defend itself.

“Meanwhile, here we are, with our troops as prepared as ever, just in case. Once again I proclaim our interest in peace. We have no interest in harming anyone, but our people will defend themselves, and we all know what to do under any circumstance,” he emphasized.

Modificado el ( jueves, 26 de julio de 2012 )

Raul Castro Confirms Willingness to Talk to U.S. as Equals

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