Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday ratified his country”s will to build a new type of relation with the United States, on the basis of the art of civilized coexistence and without relinquishing its sovereign principles.
We have the will to develop a respectful dialogue and build a new type of relation with the United States, as never before has existed between the two countries, because we are convinced that it can only bring mutual benefits, noted Raul Castro at the opening session of the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).
When reading the Main Report to the Congress, Raul Castro, who is also the first secretary of the PCC Central Committee, referred to the particularities of the situation resulting from the normalization of relations between Havana and Washington since December 17, 2014.
In that regard, the Cuban president acknowledged the stance of US President Barack Obama to eliminate the economic blockade of Cuba, and noted that concrete results have been made in dialogue and cooperation between Cuba and the United States.
However, Raul Castro noted that the measures announced by Obama shortly before his visit to Havana to introduce some measures in the implementation of the blockade by using executive prerogatives are not enough, although they are positive.
In his speech, the Cuban president recalled that the economic blockade imposed by Washington for more than half a century is still in force with unquestionable intimidating effects of an extraterritorial nature.
In that sense, Raul Castro repeated that in order to move forward in the normalization of relations, the blockade, the main obstacle for the country’s economic development, has to be eliminated, and the territory illegally occupied by the Guantanamo Naval Base against the will of the Cuban people and the government has to be returned.
In addition, the president said, the programs aimed at changing Cuba’s political, economic and social system, among other harmful policies that are still in force, must be suspended.
Raul Castro also pointed out that the migration policy continues to be used as a weapon against the Revolution, through practices that do not match the declared change of policy towards Cuba and generate difficulties to third countries.
The president, who noted that Washington’s objectives regarding Cuba are the same and only the way to achieve them have changed, underlined that they cannot make Cuba relinquish the principles of the Revolution or make concessions involving its sovereignty and independence or yield in the defense of its ideals.
Raul Castro also said that “the path to the normalization of bilateral ties is long and complex, but we will advance in the same extent that we are able to put the art of civilized coexistence into practice, that is, to accept and respect the differences, which are and will be numerous and deep.”
In that regard, Raul Castro favored not turning differences into the focus of relations between Cuba and the United States, and called to focus “on what bring us closer and not on what separates us, promoting benefits for both countries.”