US-Cuba to Talk Human Rights

By Progreso Weekly

Pedro Luis Pedroso
Pedro Luis Pedroso

HAVANA TIMES – Representatives from Cuba and the United States will meet in Washington next Tuesday (March 31) to discuss the human rights situation in both countries, a Foreign Ministry official said in Havana today (March 26).

Pedro Luis Pedroso (in photo above), deputy director for Multilateral Affairs and International Law, said at a news conference that Cuba had proposed such an encounter last July and that the State Department agreed to it three months ago.

Cuba expects the meeting to proceed constructively, on a basis of reciprocity, without conditions or discriminatory behavior, with full respect for sovereign equality, independence and noninterference in the domestic affairs of either party, Pedroso said.

In balance, the agenda must contemplate all the types of human rights for all people, he added.

At the meeting, Cuba will bring up its own achievements in the promotion and protection of all human rights, not only of its people but also of the people in numerous countries with which Cuba has cooperated in terms of health and education, the official said.

Jorge Luis Perdomo
Jorge Luis Perdomo

The dialogue will also be an opportunity to express Cuba’s concerns about the human rights situation in the United States and other places where the U.S. has a direct bearing, Pedroso said.

“We are aware that we have profound differences with the government of the United States in the field of political systems, democracy, human rights and international law,” he went on. “But we also have an unwavering desire to see our two countries relate to each other in a civilized manner, recognizing and respecting those differences.”

Asked about possible friction on issues like political rights, Pedroso said that Cuba believes that different models of politics and democracy exist and that no single reference point should be imposed.

In addition, he said, the international community recognizes the right of each country to adopt the political system that it considers most convenient, according to each country’s conditions, specificities, historical, economic and social background.


Daniel Sepulveda
Daniel Sepulveda








Two days of talks in Havana involving telecommunications ended on Thursday (March 26) with the departure of the U.S. delegation, headed by Daniel A. Sepúlveda, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs.

The Cuban side was headed by Jorge Luis Perdomo, deputy minister of Communications, who provided the visitors with information about the Cuban computer system and its policy of cybersecurity.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said that the meetings “proceeded in a positive atmosphere and were mainly devoted to the development of telecommunications and Internet contacts between the two countries.

“Increasing access to the Internet in order to support the free exchange of information is an important aspect of our policy,” Rathke said, quoted by the Russian news agency Tass.

According to the Cuban Ministry of Communications, the U.S. delegation, which included officials from the Commerce Department, visited the University of Computer Science and the José Antonio Echeverría Polytechnic Institute. They also met with officials of ETECSA, Cuba’s telecommunications company.

54 thoughts on “US-Cuba to Talk Human Rights

  • I guess you have never been to an livestock auction.

  • Oh farmers do that all the time on other property… wow Ive never seen graffiti by farmers here in the US

  • Hahaha! Once again you are confusing the calm in Cuban streets with the support of the Cuban people. Cubans are risk averse. They understand the severe consequences attached to public demonstration outweigh the imagined benefits.

  • Imprisonment for graffiti? You don’t think it has anything to do with what he painted on those pigs?

  • It doesnt matter what he painted if he painted it on property that wasn’t his then its graffiti

  • So what. We have disturbances in this country hourly….. The truth is that Cuba is a very stable country…….

  • Maleconazo, August 5, 1994. There have been many more smaller civil disturbances before and since that famous uprising.

  • He painted pigs. Pig farmers do that all the time. Nice try but wrong. …again.

  • That’s called grafitti. people get detained and arrested in the US all the time for that.. Having said that , The Cubans have the right to strenghen their laws considering that are actually in a state of war with the USA. Lincoln suspended all habeus corpus during the war…. in the USa

  • See there I know you are lying….. As a matter of fact there was one incident, I forget the year and guess who went himself among the crowd, Fidel Castro himself. In the end the the people ended up with Fidel, fidel fidel without anyone getting hurt….

  • United States of America does not know what Human Rights all about if they bite her in the ass
    I know this out of my personal experience all my Civil Rights meant nothing
    Saddam Hussein was creation of the CIA and Western intelligence simply his shelf life expired
    Al Halabja chemical attack killed and injures thousands
    Chemical supplied to him by the United States of America
    Rumsfeld was the one shaking Saddam’s hand and providing him with all these chemical and based on some reports the US provided the satellite intelligence for Saddam to target civilians
    United Nation wanted to go after Saddam for war crimes , it was Ronald Reagan who diffuse the whole situation
    What the US wanted to have Muslim killing Muslim and for the war to go on indefinitely , to have them kill each other of
    Humanity is nothing more then convenience for the Americans
    sometimes an obstacle
    As we look on today Isis in Syria is the creation of the CIA
    When does it all end
    Don’t forget the banana republics

  • Hahaha! Don’t be ridiculous. We both know that the Castros would send troops to quell a public protest. In fact, Castros’ army is trained to do just that. Beat and kill fellow Cubans.

  • The Cuban artist known as “El Sexto” was arrested and continues to be detained for speaking his mind. He painted two pigs with the words Fidel and Raul.

  • That Cubans can’t speak their minds is one lie!!!

  • Just because it hasn’t been done doesn’t mean its not allowed. Keep this in mind though! The Cubans are not going to allow any foreign government to organize marches in Cuba. You can be assured of that!!!!

  • You are thoroughly mistaken about the nature of Cuba’s alliance with Syria. Cuba is not a “friend of the Syrian people”. Cuba is allied to the dictatorship of Bashir al-Assad which has been slaughtering the Syrian people, with the help of the Iranians.

    Your use of slavery as an example is perfectly appropriate, but again, completely erroneous. The only countries in the world today where slavery is still legally practiced are Arab countries. Look to fix your own dysfunctional culture and stop projecting all your problems on America.

  • a premature born baby in the US costs over $1,000,000 think hard about what you wish for might come to

  • in the sense that the issues in Syria is for the Syrian people to decide in the sense that United States is picking up countries one at a time yes I do agree with Cuba’s friendship with the Syrian people
    All what you know about United States of America is nothing more than Hollywood bullshit
    There is nothing left of the US except in the imagination’s
    If they embargo is lifted the fist thing going to suffer would be the environment
    In the United State of America one company Walmart do business in the range of $500 billion dollars a year more than countries they’re willing to pay a million dollars for one acre of land in the middle of nowhere , all the small mom and pop business vanish
    Syria Iran Libya and everybody is in the same basket when you think the US of A think big money the 1% that controls the 1%percent that controls the 99% its not countries against countries it’s slave masters against slaves
    In the days of slavery slaves were worth $2000 dollars a piece today we are all worthless , expendable slavery is about the haves and have nots don’t fool yourself I am NOT against lifting the embargo all what I’m saying be extremely careful United States government cannot be trusted
    I apologize for the use slavery as example I don’t know how else to describe so-called humanity we are living today
    When we were young we were told a story it is from the Arab culture
    At one time there were three bowls when was black one was white one was red
    There was a lion who could not fight all three of them at the same time one day he goes over to the black and Red Bulls told and them (the white bull stands out at night and hunters could easily see all of us if you let me kill him we will all be fine)
    And it happened
    Next time he went over to the Red Bull and told him his black buddy is easy to spot in day time if you let me kill him we will all be fun and it happened
    After that he went over to the Red Bull told him now you’re all alone

  • Pol Pot was supported by China and installed in power by the North Vietnamese. Later he attacked Vietnam which responded by invading Cambodia and deposing Pol Pot. If Pol Pot had not attacked Vietnam, he would have enjoyed their protection & support for years to come.

    The U.S. never supported Pol Pot in any way.

    I am quite aware of Trujillo and what he did. I am also aware that the CIA was involved in his assassination.

    Chuck38 provided a list of dictators and claimed the U.S. has never denounced any of them. That claim is demonstrably false. Meanwhile, I have read here at HT the comments of Leftists who continue to praise murderous Leftist dictators such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Castro, and to deny their crimes against humanity.

  • Each time I read Mr.Moses Patterson well written analyses I enjoy them more although they are so outlandish, they seem like written for science fiction.

    Being as old as I am, I had the misfortune to live in both societies, which allows me to opine, not from reading books, but by living it.

    Between 1938 and 1958 I lived in Moses dream world, where you can stand in the middle of the town square and supposedly say what you wish. I saw many people beaten up, hauled to jail under those supposed conditions of Freedom of Speech.

    I also saw, many people tortured, disappeared and their bodies left to rot by the side of the road. I saw how a handful of rich or politically connected people stole with both hand, even killed or injured anyone without ever having to face a court.

    Much more than what Moses can detract from the Cuban government, I felt in my own skin. But if I am honest, I should recognize and denounce what was done wrong to me and hundreds of others, without denying the huge benefits that has made Cuba the most educated, advanced, peaceful, literally drug free society in the Western Hemisphere, where no Black or school children have been murdered with impunity in the streets or schools since 1959.

    LIke it or not, with all of its imperfection, Fidel Castro Revolution has meant for Blacks, advancing more in the past 50 years, than the previous 500 years!

    May I close by reminding Mr. Moses and those in his camp, that I saw too many sick people in Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba, having to run first to some influential individual in our community to get a piece of paper, which would entitle the needy, to be allowed entry into a Public Hospital, which most of the time it meant two to a bed or a mat on the floor, have your folks bring your meals and medicine and tip some doctors, if you wanted an adequate check up.

    That’s why, I strive to fix everything that is wrong with Cuba under Fidel, Raul and whomever follows and I will fight to my nail, the return to Cuba of the era, when the Minister of Education took away my school breakfast and my aluminum cup, did not pay my teachers for months, but showed up later in Miami with luggage loaded with stolen money, to build the Orange Bowl and many other stolen properties, while shamelessly claiming losses in Cuba.

  • Do you agree with Cuba’s support for the Syrian regime of Bashir al-Assad? Their friendship and alliance with Iran? Their long support of Gadaffi?

    I do not see how Cuba’s small, poor population and weak economy can provide a boom to the Florida economy. If the embargo is lifted, it will provide a boon to the pockets of the Castro regime elite. The average Cuban will get nothing.

  • “At times” ? How gentle you are Griffin with the US when they cause, and I mean cause, not acquiesce, in the death and suffering of tens of millions. Why the difference with your treatment of Cuba ? And the capitalist dictators you mention above, all of whom make Fidel look absolutely saintly, were all abandoned by the GOUSA only after it became evident they were losing their grip. Do you have the slightest idea of the things Trujillo did to his people ?

    Answer to your quizz question – Pol Pot was overthrown by the Communists in Viet Nam ( while he was being diplomatically supported by Washington).

  • When discussing the issue of human rights, it’s important to first define the term.

    For modern Western liberal democracies, such as the US, Canada & most of Europe, “human rights” refer to a set of rights and freedoms held by the people. These include the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and the right to due process in law. These rights are protected by constitutional guarantees which limit the powers of the government (itself elected by the people) to infringe upon the rights of the people. These classical liberal rights and freedoms do not include the “right” of the government to impose its will on the people in order to provide some perceived social good.

    For modern Leftists, “human rights” is defined to include a set of services to be provided by the government, such as healthcare, rationing and education. The State is empowered to use whatever force is necessary to impose its will on the people, in the name of the greater social good. Individual rights and freedoms are seen as impediments to the greater good and are therefore banned in Leftist dictatorships, such as Cuba.

    We can expect that the US & Cuban diplomats will be arguing around their differences of opinion on the meaning of the terminology more than any substantial debate.

  • Yes, the US government has, at times, been hypocritical in their support for some dictators. But they have also opposed many, including some former allies or friends. For the record, the US government did (eventually) denounce the human rights abuses of Pinochet, Batista, Diem, Trujillo, Marcos, and many other dictators you mentioned. Are you not aware that the US sent their military into Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein, while Western Leftists such as yourself marched in the streets to defend Saddam? It was much in the news a few years ago, I’m surprised you miss it.

    Can you name even one Leftist dictator the Left has ever denounced?

  • Which of my “facts” do you dispute?

  • In this comment, you did not use the word Cuba once. You are on the wrong blog. Your dislike of US policy is your right. It’s just misplaced here at HT.

  • There is nothing left of the nation that the founding fathers established US Constitution is nothing more than ink on paper
    United States of America in the imagination is a thing of the past right now the US of A is nothing more then a privately owned cooperation next best thing to slavery
    In the USA there is the best medicine on the planet if you have the money
    A premature born baby will cost $1,000,000 that’s only the hospital bill senior citizen have to work until the day they die so they could pay the bills they have a choice between paying the rent or buying medicine
    Don’t get me wrong I do not hate United States of America I hit the destructive policies and the corporate parasites that mercilessly sucks the life blood from humans
    Banks that foreclosed on people’s homes apparently have no legal right to do so
    They walked way and there is no one to stopped them
    Pharmaceutical company sold bad drugs toxic that killed humans and nothing happened to them
    Log on to the Thom Hartmann show and Ring of Fire radio , read it for yourself hear it for yourself judge for yourself
    In the US I have come across the best people and the worst people the ones who hated the USA more than anyone else happen to be white blue eyed American believe it or not

  • The comparison you are looking for is the one that gets me, as a Cuban exile, upset! That comparison between Cuba and other third world nations should never have had to take place. By Castros own reckoning, Cuba was not a third world country at the time of the revolution. Indeed, as Castro and other communists at the time have stated, the revolution was meant to topple the Batista regime. It was a function of the dissatisfaction of the professional middle class Cuban society, and was supported by the likes the Bacardi’s and written up in Bohemia magazine.

    It was Castro, tying up his economy with the Soviet Union and installing a top down planned economy that drove Cuba from an almost first world country to a third world country.

  • My comment responded to the preceding ‘ridiculous’ comment. I find the comparison between the quality of life in the US and that of Cuba to be ridiculous as well.

  • The ‘exercise’ of his power has diminished. If Fidel wants something to happen in Cuba (or Venezuela), he can still make it happen.

  • Really? Try staging an anti-government March in Cuba. Try publishing an anti-Catholic article in Granma. Try editing Havana Times from Havana.

  • List ONE lie or go away!

  • Cubans can not speak their minds freely.

    These are some of the repressive laws they face:

    – Article 144, which defines the crime of desacato,
    or “disrespect.” It states that anyone who threatens, slanders, defames, insults, harms or in anyway outrages or offends, verbally or in writing, the dignity or honor of an authority, public official, or their agents or auxiliaries, in the exercise of their functions or because of them can be
    imprisoned for between three months and one year or fined or both. If the act of disrespect is directed at the head of state or other senior officials the penalty is a prison term from one to three years

    – Articles 208 and 209, which define the crime of asociación ilícita, or “illicit association.” These articles
    state that anyone belonging to an unregistered association can be fined or imprisoned for between one and three months. The promoters or leaders of
    such an association can be fined or imprisoned for between three months and a year. Anyone who participates in illegal meetings or demonstrations can be
    fined or imprisoned for between one and three months. The organizers of illegal meetings or demonstrations can be fined or imprisoned for between three months and a year.

    – Article 103, which defines the crime of propaganda enemiga, or “enemy propaganda.” It states that anyone who incites against the social order, international solidarity or the socialist state by means of verbal, written or any other kind of propaganda, or who makes, distributes or possesses such propaganda, can be imprisoned from between one to eight years. Anyone who spreads false news or malicious predictions likely to cause alarm or discontent among the population, or
    public disorder, can be imprisoned from between one and four years. If the mass media are used, the sentence can be from seven to fifteen years in prison.

    – Article 207, which defines the crime of asociación para delinquir, or “associating with others to commit crimes.” It states that if three or more persons join together in a group to commit crimes, they can be imprisoned for between one and three years, simply for meeting together. If the only objective of the group is to
    provoke disorder or interrupt family or public parties, spectacles or other community events or to commit other anti-social acts, the penalty is a fine or a prison sentence of between three months and one year.

    – Article 115, which defines the crime of difusión de falsas informaciones contra la paz internacional, or “dissemination of false information against international peace.” It states that anyone who spreads false news with aim of disturbing international peace or putting in danger the prestige or credit of the Cuban State or its
    good relations with another state can be imprisoned for between one and four years.

    – Article 143, which defines the crime of resistencia, or “resistance.” On occasion, the crime is referred to
    as desobediencia, or “disobedience.” It states that anyone who resists an official in the exercise of his duties can be imprisoned for between three months and a year or fined. If the official is trying to apprehend a criminal or someone who has escaped from prison, the penalty is a prison term from two to five years.

    – Articles 72-90, which define the crime of peligrosidad, or “dangerousness.” These articles come under the heading,
    “The Dangerous Status and Security Measures,” a section of the Penal Code under which someone can be sentenced for up to four years in prison on the grounds that the authorities believe the individual has a “special
    proclivity” to commit crimes, even though he or she might not have actually committed a crime. These articles broadly define “dangerous” people as those who act in a manner that contradicts “socialist morality” or engage in
    “anti-social behavior.” Moreover, Article 75 provides for an “official warning” to people the authorities deem to be in danger of becoming dangerous,” i.e., those who are not yet “dangerous” but who are regarded as having criminal tendencies because of their “ties or relations with people
    who are potentially dangerous to society, other people, and to the social, economic and political order of the socialist State…”

    – ARTICLE 91. The person who, in the interest of a foreign State, commits an act with the intent to cause damage to the independence of the Cuban State or the integrity of its territory, shall be punished with 10 to 20 years in prison or death.

    – Law 88.
    Promulgated in February 1999, the “88 Law” – soon nicknamed the “gagging law” in dissident circles – weighs like the Sword of Damocles over any person who “collaborates, by any means whatsoever, with radio or television programs, magazines or any other foreign media” or “provides information” considered likely to serve US policy. The law provides for very heavy sentences: up to 20 years’ imprisonment, confiscation of all personal belongings and fines up to 100,000 pesos

    All of the above have been used to silence people and repress dissent.

    In addition to these legal sanctions there are lots of other ways by which the regime silences people: (the treat of) loss of education, loss of employment, loss of housing, …

  • Fidel may have retired, but he is still feared and can still lash out. I agree his power his diminishing, but people still look over their shoulders.

  • Same you you you are not entitled to your own facts Moses!!!

  • Interesting you want to hold Cuba to a standard that the USA hasn’t even met yet……

  • Cubans can speak their own minds. You need to stop lying to people!!!!!

  • In this case the neighbor beating his wife would be an example of the US……..

  • You’re only half right. What it supports is the inescapable conclusion that “Human Rights” is nothing more than a ploy and cheap excuse, to be pulled out or shelved depending on the convenience of the GOUSA and the interests of the 1%.

  • Utterly ridiculous comparison, Moses. It should be Cuba vs. Guatemala, Dominican Republic or Honduras, not a first world imperialist superpower that can (for now) print all the reserve currency it wants. Even that would be unfair, b/c those countries never had to cope with a blockade, they were the “lucky” recipients of Yanque benevolence and guidance. It’s obviously you have no concept of the daily life of the US underclass, much less of conditions in Latin America.

  • Once again for the slow learners: “The Castros” is a euphemism for the tyrannical totalitarian oligarchy that has ruled Cuba for 56 years. It is intended to include Fidel, Raul and their minions. If this remains too difficult a concept, consider it similar to the label Socialism as a euphemism for failed or failing government system. Now do you get it?

  • You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. Your anti-US bias should not be mistaken for a pro-Cuban perspective. This is Havana Times. Please try to stay on topic.

  • in Arabic language we have a saying it expressed as follows
    Those you see wrong and keep quiet are silent devils
    I am going to attempt to give you a snapshot what really goes on in the United States of America going back and forth with accusations will get nowhere you need to read see the truth for yourself
    This is the end out of control capitalism
    medical care – Consumerist
    Mobile-friendly – Hospital Was Filmed Dumping Homeless Paraplegic On Street, Driving Off. By cwalters January 18

  • God-given ?????
    A non-existent being bestowed our morals and principles UPON us ?
    I don’t think so.
    We had morals and principles long before we had God.
    We’ve been on the planet a minimum of 100,000 years as homo sapiens and would not have survived to create God and his “bestowed rights” had we not been born with innate morality.
    Source : Christianity is false and immoral : Hitchens -You-Tube 12:59 excerpt .
    And…. again with “the Castros ” ?
    One retired years ago You’ll have to look up which at Wikipedia or ask a five-year old.

  • I am happy to see this overdue, open and hopefully public discussion take place. Both parties, if they are honest will benefit.
    Most important though, will be to put an end to US blatant manipulation of Human Rights around the world, in which it is not the ACT that is committed what is taken into account, but WHO commit it what matters.
    The worst crimes committed by the most barbaric dictators, tortures and murderers on earth have had a free ride under every US government, if they are a friend of the US State Department.
    The United States has never denounced Israel crimes against humanity in Palestine. Instead, it has financed, supported and provided moral complicity in every International Organization.
    Nor has the US ever denounced Pinochet, Stroessner, Somoza, Papa and Baby Doc Duvalier, D’Abousson, Batista, Shah, Nygo Diem, Saddam Hussein, Trujillo, Gary, Hosni Mubarack, Marcos and hundreds of the world worst tortures, all of whom has been welcomed to beautiful Florida, like my neighbor General Eugenio Vides Casanova, ex Chief of Staff of the Salvadorian Army, with 30,000 murders on his hands or Luis Posada Carriles, Latin America worst terrorist.
    Cuba will benefit also, because the injustices, poverty, segregation, marginalization that has afflicted Blacks across the nation and which was ignored in the name of national unity to face the threats of the United States are no longer true.
    This is the time, call it Affirmative Action or whatever anyone decide, but special dispensation is a must for millions of Black who are at the end of their rope.
    Cuba has an unpaid debt with Blacks, who constituted 60-70% of the Cuban Army of Independence and its casualties, everything visible and invisible in Cuba was built with our sweat, tears, blood and lives working for free for over 300 years, over 3000 Blacks were slaughtered in 1912 for demanding their rights and when those how benefitted before, during and after the pseudo Independence in 1902 until 1959 fled the country and became wealthy outside of Cuba, Blacks once again, stuck it out, no matter who hard or dangerous the situation became.
    The soul of Cuba is at stake. Or Cuba fix this cancer that is corroding its moral fiber or it will become an apartheid state like Israel or South Africa was before liberating Nelson Mandela from Robin Island.

  • Gracias Fidel Castro and Che Guevara
    wherever Yankee Greengo dollars want disaster followed for an example Argentina all with the American system cares about is business and nothing else
    Cuba is nothing more to the USA except a shot in the arm if the embargo is lifted Florida economy will boom in extension the US
    You will be dealing with a social upheaval that the population of Cuba have not seen the like and not used to manage
    From real estate grab to privatization of all government real estate and all types to homelessness and beggars in the street beyond what you could imagine and crime that you have never experienced before
    Whatever you decide to do do not open the floodgates do it slow over time
    I beg of you

  • Your list of US foreign policy flaws supports the claim that the US is not perfect. Far from it indeed. Our nation’s founders knew this from the start and endeavored “to form a more perfect union”. We are not talking about being perfect though. We are talking about the Castros efforts to maintain control of the Cuban people by denying basic human rights.

  • Look at it this way: You can list all the bad things, real and imagined, that you say exist in the US. Then I will list the bad things about Cuba. Then you can go ahead and list the handful of good stuff in Cuba. I will then put the list of good stuff about the US. What do you think our lists look like? Well, let’s put it to the test. Randomly pick 100 people from anywhere in the world and let them decide where they would rather live, Cuba or the US. How many choose the US? How many really want to LIVE in Cuba? Let’s not forget the record number of Cubans who left Cuba in 2014. If you are still not convinced how ridiculous your comment really is, consider this. The single most important freedom that human beings receive from God is our freedom to speak our own minds. Guess which freedom is missing in Cuba?

  • USA is the biggest hypocricy on the planet when you consider Palestine , Iraq ,Vietnam ,Cuban embargo ,and don’t forget Guantanamo Bay , Chilean president Salvador Allende replacing him with Augusto Pinochet , and all the other sites that I lost track off
    you would end up with delusional American foreign politics
    USA doesn’t know what is human rights if it bites them on tthe ass

  • Interesting comment. I must say I fled your preferred system and escaped with my family to the US. Cubans continue to prove you’re views as wrong by risking their very lives fleeing to the US

  • Well said

  • And what do you call a system that denies medical care to babies, education to children and housing to families, based on the capacities of the people to pay? Or, are human rights abuses acceptable when they are carried out in the name of capitalism?

  • When the Castros say “the international community recognizes the right of each country to adopt the political system that it considers most convenient”, it is like when your neighbor beats his wife and says every marriage is different. Denying Cubans their God-given freedom of speech is not a matter of political differences. It is tyranny.

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