HAVANA TIMES – Raul Castro’s government called the message uttered on Saturday by US President Donald Trump calling for political and economic freedoms on the island “ridiculous,” reported dpa news.
“Unjust persecutions cannot alter Cubans’ longing to see their children free from oppression,” Donald Trump wrote in a statement.
“The Cuban people deserve a government that respects democratic values, economic, religious and human rights, and my government is determined to shape that vision,” he added.
Trump, currently on a tour of the Middle East, sent the message to the people of Cuba on the occasion of the anniversary of May 20th, commemorating the inauguration of the first Republican government on the island back in 1902.
Cuban authorities consider this date as the beginning of the “neocolonial period”, because the United States was given the right to intervene in Cuban political life as a condition for independence through the “Platt Amendment” in the island’s Constitution.
“Even the US government itself is aware of the contradictory and clumsy pronouncements of the millionaire tycoon turned president, on issues of both foreign and domestic politics,” said the note read by state television.
The government’s statement described Trump as “the ill-advised US president” and called the message “controversial and ridiculous.”
Since the arrival of Trump to the White House, Havana has maintained a diplomatic silence on his actions in office and his earlier campaign threats to reverse the policy of rapprochement promoted by Barack Obama.
The criticism of Trump’s message is the first direct disagreement shown by the Cuban government under the Republican Party presidency.
Last February, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Washington is conducting a comprehensive review of US policy toward Cuba with an eye towards prioritizing human rights in their bilateral relationship.
Despite threats from the Trump Administration to reverse Cuba policy, no concrete action has so far been taken. However, Senator Marco Rubio has repeatedly assured that the policy changes are forthcoming.
Meanwhile, Cuban President Raul Castro has reiterated his government’s willingness to enter into dialogue with the United States but without accepting interference in its internal affairs.