America

Raúl Castro Says Cuba Is An Island Seeking Friendship, Even With U.S.

Cuba's President Raúl Castro speaks during celebrations marking Cuba's Revolution Day in Guantanamo, Cuba on Thursday. i i

Cuba's President Raúl Castro speaks during celebrations marking Cuba's Revolution Day in Guantanamo, Cuba on Thursday. Ramon Espinosa/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Ramon Espinosa/AP
Cuba's President Raúl Castro speaks during celebrations marking Cuba's Revolution Day in Guantanamo, Cuba on Thursday.

Cuba's President Raúl Castro speaks during celebrations marking Cuba's Revolution Day in Guantanamo, Cuba on Thursday.

Ramon Espinosa/AP

Today, while Cuba celebrated Revolution Day, the 59th anniversary of an initial attack on the Moncada military baracks, President Raúl Castro made a rather surprising admission during his remarks.

According to Granma, the official newspaper of the Communist party, Castro said he was ready to mend relations with the United States.

Here's how Granma reports it:

"Raúl said that now they hope that what happened in Libya or what they want to happen to Syria will also happen to this little island. But he warned that this is a peaceful island that likes to dance and make friends with everyone including the United States. Still it is a stubborn country. If they want confrontation, it's better settled in baseball, where we win some and lose some. On other occasions we never lose."

The Granma piece also points out that Castro said Cuba is ready to defend itself.

The AP reports that later on, Castro reiterated those comments saying they are ready to discuss anything as long as they are treated as equals.

Here's the AP:

"'Any day they want, the table is set. This has already been said through diplomatic channels,' Castro said. "If they want to talk, we will talk."

"Washington would have to be prepared to hear Cuba's own complaints about the treatment of those issues in the United States and its European allies, he added.

"'We are nobody's colony, nobody's puppet,' Castro said."

The United States and Cuba have not had diplomatic ties for 50 years.

The BBC adds that Castro said he would be willing to discuss ""the problems of democracy, human rights etc. But on equal terms because we are no-one's colony."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.