Thursday, August 6, 2020
 |  Sign-Up  |  Contact Us  |  Bookmark 

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has said his meeting
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has said his meeting with a group of U.S. lawmakers in Havana, his first with senior U.S. officials in years, was a "great meeting" that held "particular importance for me."

Cuba's longtime communist leader, 82, met with seven members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus on Tuesday, a day after their meeting with his brother, President Raul Castro, amid signs that the countries could normalize relations.

In an article in the ruling Communist Party's Granma newspaper, Castro said: "Our meeting lasted one hour and 45 minutes, judging by the clock, but in fact just half a minute, in terms of how quickly it flew by, and how I wanted to listen to them," he said.

He said the sides discussed U.S. President Barack Obama's proposal on lifting the trade embargo on Cuba. "We expressed our view that the objective realities in the U.S. have been stronger than Obama's most sincere intentions," he said.

After their return to the U.S., the caucus members said Washington must consider ending the trade embargo on Cuba, along with the diplomatic restrictions that have been in place for half a century.

California Representative Laura Richardson said: "The point is, it's history, and we need to move forward."

Barbara Lee, who led the delegation visit, said: "Our conclusion is, given the new direction in our foreign policy, that it's time to look at a new direction in our policy toward Cuba... The 50-year embargo just hasn't worked."

Fidel Castro had not met with American officials since he underwent intestinal surgery in July 2006.

Lee also said Castro seemed "energetic," and in good health.

"We met at his house, a house of very modest means. His wife was there, his son was taking photographs of us."

During their five-day visit, which started on Friday, the delegation also met with National Assembly speaker Ricardo Alarcon and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

U.S. House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi, commenting on her colleagues' visit, admitted on CNN that the embargo "has not accomplished much."

The U.S. trade embargo on Cuba has been in force since 1962, and has since been reinforced by several legislative acts.

President Obama has said he will maintain the embargo until Cuba shows progress on human rights and democracy. However, The U.S. Congress is currently considering lifting the ban on Americans visiting Cuba, and U.S. media have said Obama could soon lift a number of restrictions, including limits on money transfers between the countries.

Print Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has said his meeting Bookmark Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has said his meeting

Related News   
MarApril 2009May