Cuba Rejects Trump’s “Hostile Rhetoric”

Cuba Rejects Trump’s “Hostile Rhetoric”Cuba Rejects Trump’s “Hostile Rhetoric”

The Cuban government of Raul Castro has criticized Donald Trump’s “hostile rhetoric” in announcing new restrictions on US ties to the country, but repeated its willingness to hold “respectful dialogue” with Washington.

Earlier on Friday, the US president pledged to overhaul his predecessor Barack Obama’s Cuba policy, Aljazeera reported.

“The government of Cuba denounces the new measures toughening the embargo” imposed since 1962, according to a statement read on Cuban state television.

However, it said Cuba “reiterates its willingness to continue the respectful dialogue and cooperation” that have taken place with Washington since 2015 when the drive for restored ties began under Obama. Although the policy changes announced were limited, Trump has tightened rules for Americans travelling to Cuba, banned ties with a military-run tourism firm and reaffirmed the existing US trade embargo.

The Cuban statement criticized the “hostile rhetoric that recalls the time of open confrontation”, and “return to the coercive methods of the past”.

It regretted “a reversal in relations between the two countries”.

“Any strategy to change the political, economic and social system in Cuba, whether through pressure ... or through more subtle methods, will be doomed to failure.”

Diplomatic relations, restored only two years ago, will remain intact. But, in a shift from Obama’s approach, Trump said trade and other penalties would stay in place until a long list of prerequisites was met.

“America has rejected the Cuban people’s oppressors,” Trump said in Miami’s Little Havana.

Declaring Obama’s pact with Castro a “completely one-sided deal”, Trump said he was cancelling it.

In practice, however, many recent changes to boost ties to Cuba will stay as they are.

Embassies in Havana and Washington will remain open. US airlines and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve the island.

The “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which once let most Cuban migrants stay if they made it to US soil but was terminated under Obama, will remain terminated.


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