Cuba Open, US Must Act First

HAVANA TIMES, April 29 — Addressing a meeting of foreign ministers of the 118-member Non Aligned Movement (NAM) in Havana on Thursday, Cuba’s President Raul Castro noted that it is the US that must make the first move towards rapprochement with the island.

“Cuba hasn’t imposed any sanction on the United States nor its citizens,” noted Castro. He added: “It’s not Cuba that impedes US business people from doing business with their Cuban counterparts. It’s not Cuba that has a military base on United States territory against the will of its people, etc.”

Cuba, Castro said, has reiterated “its willingness to talk about anything with the United States, under equal conditions.” However he stressed that his country would “not negotiate our sovereignty or our political and social system, the right to self-determination, or our internal affairs.”

According to different US government sources informal talks have been occurring between Cuban and US officials, with both sides saying they want to improve on the decades of icy relations.

Havana and its many Latin American allies have made it clear that ending the nearly half-century blockade on Cuba is the single most important issue towards a new type of relations between Washington and the rest of the continent.