HAVANA TIMES — Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, celebrating his 89th birthday on Thursday, is on the front page of the official Granma newspaper and heading all news programs to remind everyone of the damage caused Cuba by the United States and the “due compensation” the island deserves.
His message comes a day before the visit of US Secretary of State, John Kerry for the reopening of the US embassy in Havana.
Cuba is owed many millions of dollars in compensation, wrote Castro in reference to the island’s claims related to damages sustained from the half century US embargo on the island.
Under the historic rapprochement with the United States, Fidel’s brother and current president, Raul Castro, has previously demanded the payment of compensation as a condition for full normalization of bilateral relations. The US, on the other hand, wants Cuba to compensate US companies nationalized in the early years of the revolution.
In his new “reflection”, Fidel Castro also criticized the historical role of the US as a world power, recalling the dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago.
“The equal right of all citizens to health, education, work, food, security, culture, science, and wellbeing, that is, the same rights we proclaimed when we began our struggle, in addition to those which emerge from our dreams of justice and equality for all inhabitants of our world, is what I wish for all,” wrote the historic Cuban leader his text entitled “Reality and Dreams“.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry will preside over the ceremony Friday to officially reopen the US embassy in Havana, with the hoisting of the flag of the bars and stars at the building located opposite the emblematic Malecón seawall.
The US and Cuba resumed their diplomatic relations on July 20 after half a century of rupture and ideological confrontation. The Cuban embassy officially reopened its doors that day in Washington in a ceremony headed by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
The historic thaw between the two countries was announced unexpectedly on December 17, 2014 by Raul Castro and Barack Obama. Washington and Havana then negotiated for six months on the conditions to reopen their embassies closed in 1961.