Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Obama 'misinterpreted' Raul's words according to Fidel Castro

As reported in the Miami Herald, Fidel Castro, Cuba’s ex-president who had previously expressed his admiration for Obama has blasted the new U.S. president for showing signs of “superficiality.”

Fidel Castro says President Barack Obama “misinterpreted” his brother Raul’s remarks regarding the United States and brushed off Obama’s suggestion that Cuba should free political prisoners or cut taxes on remittances from abroad as a goodwill gesture to the U.S.

Last week, President Raul Castro responded to Obama adding speculation that the U.S. and Cuba could be headed toward thawing a half-century of chilly relations. He had said that Cuba would be willing to sit down with their U.S. counterparts and discuss “everything,” including human rights, freedom of the press and expression, and political prisoners on the island.

During the Summit of the Americas Obama said that Washington seeks a new beginning with Cuba, but he also said Sunday that Cuba should release some political prisoners and reduce official taxes on remittances sent to the island from the U.S.

This conversation appeared to anger Fidel Castro, 82, who wrote in an essay posted on a government Web site that Obama “without a doubt misinterpreted Raul’s declarations.”

The former president said Obama had no right to dare suggest that Cuba make even small concessions. He also implied that too much was being made of Raul’s comments about discussing “everything” with U.S. authorities.

Fidel Castro praised his brother saying, “Affirming that the president of Cuba is ready to discuss any topic with the president of the United States expresses that he’s not afraid to broach any subject.”

Castro also that it should not be assumed that he his brother was referring to 75 leading political opposition leaders. He also defended Cuba’s right to levy a 10 percent fee on every U.S. dollar sent to relatives on the island by Cuban-Americans, saying if the money arriving from abroad “is in dollars, all the more reason we should do it because it is the currency of the country that blockades us.”

He added that not all Cubans have family members who send remittances, implying that Cuba uses revenue from fees on exchanging dollars to provide free health care, education, and subsidized food to all of its population.

Miami Herald

Associated Press