Cuban President Raul Castro denounced President Donald Trump‘s tougher line on relations with Havana today, calling it a setback but promising to continue working to normalise ties between the former Cold War rivals.
Castro’s comments to Cuba’s National Assembly were his first on Trump’s June announcement of a partial rollback of the Cuba-US detente achieved by then-President Barack Obama.
They contained echoes of the harsh rhetoric of the past.
“Any strategy that seeks to destroy the revolution either through coercion or pressure or through more subtle methods will fail,” Cuba’s president told legislators.
He also rejected any “lessons” on human rights from the US, saying his country “has a lot to be proud about” on the issue.
Surrounded by Cuban-American exiles and Cuban dissidents in Miami, Trump announced last month that the US would impose new limits on US travellers to the island and ban any payments to the military-linked conglomerate that controls much of the island’s tourism industry.
He said the US would consider lifting those and other restrictions only after Cuba returned fugitives and made a series of other internal changes including freeing political prisoners, allowing freedom of assembly and holding free elections.