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Fidel Castro makes first comment on normalization with US

January 27, 2015, 7:33 UTC+3 HAVANA

Commandante Fidel, 88, says he does not trust the US policies and he has not exchanged a single word with the Americans

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HAVANA, January 27. /TASS/. Fidel Castro has broken silence for the first time this year and addressed Cuban students with a letter.

The letter published by the main national daily La Granma contains his first comments on the nascent process of normalization of Cuban-US relations.

Commandante Fidel, 88, says he does not trust the US policies and he has not exchanged a single word with the Americans, although this does not mean at all a rejection of peaceful resolution of military conflicts or removal of military threats.

He indicates, however, that defending peace is everyone’s duty. The Cubans will always defend cooperation and friendship among all the peoples in the world and even with this country’s political opponents, Fidel says.

He says the steps taken by his younger brother Raul Castro, who is Cuba’s President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers, were appropriate and fell in line with the occupational powers granted by the National Assembly and the ruling Communist Party of Cuba.

Fidel indicates that the ominous threats looming over humankind today should give way to norms compatible with the notion of human dignity.

Normalization of US-Cuban relations

On Decenber 17, 2014, US President Barack Obama made public the plans to open a new chapter in relations with Cuba. He admitted that the policy of isolation of the Freedom Island for more than five decades had not produced the desired results and said the trade embargo against Havana would be mitigated.

A full abolition of sanctions requires Congressional approval.

On the same day, Raul Castro confirmed that Cuba and the US had agreed to resume diplomatic relations. He stressed Havana’s abidance by “a respectful dialogue based on the principle of sovereign equality.”

He called on Washington to lift the trade and economic blockade, which Cuba has lived under since 1961.

By Tuesday, January 27, US financial institutions have received the right to open corresponding bank accounts in Cuba and to work with Cuban companies located outside of the island.

Also, trips to Cuba have been made easier for some categories of US citizens and workers of certain organizations.

Opportunities for Cuban-US collaboration in telecommunications and trade have expanded as well.

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