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The Cuban president Raúl Castro says he's now willing to hold no-limits talks with America! Is it time to end America's trade embargo with Cuba?

Steverno~POTL~PWCM~JLA 2012/07/27 05:22:12
Yes,it's time to end America's trade embargo with Cuba!
No,America's trade embargo with Cuba needs to be continued.
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Cuban president Raúl Castro said on Thursday that his government was willing to mend fences with its bitter cold war foe, the United States.

At the end of a Revolution Day ceremony marking the 59th anniversary of an uprising against dictator Fulgencio Batista's regime, Castro grabbed the microphone and made apparently impromptu remarks. He said no topic was off limits, including US concerns about democracy, freedom of the press and human rights on the island, as long as it was a conversation between equals.

Washington would have to be prepared to hear Cuba's own complaints about those issues in the United States and Europe, he added. "We are nobody's colony, nobody's puppet," Castro said. "Any day they want, the table is set. This has already been said through diplomatic channels. If they want to talk, we will talk."

Washington and Havana have not had diplomatic relations for five decades and a 50-year-old US embargo outlaws nearly all trade with, and travel to, the island.

Mike Hammer, assistant secretary for public affairs at the US state department, responded by saying that before any meaningful engagement, Cuba must institute democratic reforms, improve human rights and release Alan Gross, a Maryland native serving 15 years in prison for bringing satellite and other communications equipment into Cuba illegally while on a USAid-funded democracy-building programme.

"Our message is very clear to the Castro government: they need to begin to allow for the political freedom of expression that the Cuban people demand and we are prepared to discuss with them how this can be furthered," Hammer said. "They are the ones ultimately responsible for taking those actions, and today we have not seen them."

Hammer highlighted the brief detention earlier this week of dozens of dissidents outside the funeral of prominent activist Oswaldo Paya, who died in a car crash last weekend, saying: "The authoritarian tendencies are very evident on each and every day in Cuba."

Days after Paya's death, Castro had harsh words for the island's opposition, accusing them of plotting to topple the government.

"Some small factions are doing nothing less than trying to lay the groundwork and hoping that one day what happened in Libya will happen here, what they're trying to make happen in Syria," Castro said.

He also reminisced about the 1959 Revolution, promised that Cuba would complete a trans-island road, empathised with complaints about meagre salaries and said his five-year plan to overhaul Cuba's socialist economy would not be done hastily.

The 26 July national holiday was often used to make major announcements when Castro's older brother Fidel was president, but there were none on Thursday.

The main celebration kicked off at sunrise with music and speeches at a plaza in the eastern province of Guantánamo, home to the US naval base and military prison.

The US presence in Guantánamo is a sore point for Havana, which demands the base be shut down and accuses the US of torturing terror suspects held in the military prison.

"We will continue to fight such a flagrant violation … Never, under any circumstance, will we stop trying to recover that piece of ground," said first vice-president José Ramón Machado Ventura.

Musicians sang the song Guantanamera and a girl read a speech paying homage to the revolution and resistance to "Yankee" imperialism.

"We will be like Che,'" she said, repeating the mantra taught to schoolchildren across the island. Argentine-born guerrilla Ernesto "Che" Guevara is held up as a model of personal conduct in Cuba.

From: The Guardian

Read More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/26/cuba-p...

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Top Opinion

  • kir 2012/07/27 05:31:30
    Yes,it's time to end America's trade embargo with Cuba!
    kir
    +9
    We are long overdue for ending the trade embargo with Cuba. Free trade is the quickest way to get Cuba to change; that is assuming we don't head towards further into fascism ourselves first.

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  • Red 2012/08/06 22:40:57
  • NeutronBomb 2012/07/29 20:27:13
    Yes,it's time to end America's trade embargo with Cuba!
    NeutronBomb
    Fidel Castro was a very shady character but the USA behaved terribly in their dealings with him, no party came out looking good in my book.
  • Vieuphoria 2012/07/29 16:08:54
    Yes,it's time to end America's trade embargo with Cuba!
    Vieuphoria
    +1
    It was nonsense to begin with
  • Raphy 2012/07/29 03:27:51
    Yes,it's time to end America's trade embargo with Cuba!
    Raphy
    +1
    But he need to compromise too. End this rein of communism. Cuba is a beautiful country. Time to share you it truly with everyone.
  • stevegt... Raphy 2012/07/31 15:09:40
  • seadog6608PWCM 2012/07/28 21:00:20
  • cupcakes 2012/07/28 19:29:22
  • CUDDLY BUT STILL CRABBY 2012/07/28 16:31:31
    No,America's trade embargo with Cuba needs to be continued.
    CUDDLY BUT STILL CRABBY
    +2
    The Russians feel at home in Cuba.
  • Gordon 2012/07/28 15:48:17
    Yes,it's time to end America's trade embargo with Cuba!
    Gordon
    +1
    Our attempts to punish Fidel Castro have caused hardships for too many Cuban people. We should normalize relations and set up embassies.
  • bob h. 2012/07/28 15:30:53
    Yes,it's time to end America's trade embargo with Cuba!
    bob h.
    +2
    We're the only country that can't go to Cuba legally.
  • Bob, the reasonable one 2012/07/28 15:19:34
    Yes,it's time to end America's trade embargo with Cuba!
    Bob, the reasonable one
    +3
    like 30 years ago...after the first 10 years it was obvious that it doesn't work...we could have brought out the second revolution through consumer products...
  • mich52 2012/07/28 14:53:44
  • Reichstolz 2012/07/28 14:50:09
    No,America's trade embargo with Cuba needs to be continued.
    Reichstolz
    +1
    Cuba has nothing to offer the world.
  • stevegtexas@aol.com 2012/07/28 14:44:10
  • Mid Lo 2012/07/28 09:06:47
    Other Thoughts!
    Mid Lo
    +2
    At some point. Keep in mind when you hear of travelers speaking of how great Cuba is, they are eating a quality of food that Cuban citizens are prohibited from enjoying. They also enjoy internet access at their hotel which is also prohibited for private citizens. So while you stuff your gut and check out the latest poll on Sodahead, the Cubans that serve you would be imprisoned for doing the same. Communism is nothing more than slavery with privileges. Happy travels!
  • nightcr... Mid Lo 2012/07/29 07:32:32
    nightcrawler2005
    Thank You. I look forward to my next vacation there.
  • stevegt... Mid Lo 2012/07/31 15:10:29
  • XQNP 2012/07/28 07:28:57
    Yes,it's time to end America's trade embargo with Cuba!
    XQNP
    +2
    Though given the number of times we tried to murder Fidel, I'm surprised he wants to talk.
  • stevegt... XQNP 2012/07/28 14:46:36 (edited)
  • bob h. XQNP 2012/07/28 15:33:40
    bob h.
    Why? The Govt just blames the mob.
  • Stevern... XQNP 2012/07/28 15:43:57
    Steverno~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    The Castro brothers sense there is a like-minded,revolutionary Marxist in the White House.So,they don't feel overly threaten by BHO.

    Heck,Obama isn't even protesting about Cuba talking to Russia about putting a naval base in Cuba!
    http://news.yahoo.com/russia-...
  • XQNP Stevern... 2012/07/28 19:20:57
    XQNP
    +1
    You really don't get Marxism, do you?
  • Stevern... XQNP 2012/07/28 19:55:53
    Steverno~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    I get Marxism a whole lot better then you do!

  • XQNP Stevern... 2012/07/28 23:50:58
    XQNP
    +1
    While I respect any services to this country Lt. Gen. Boykin may have rendered to this country, I wouldn't hold him as an expert on Marxism. If you want an actual understanding of Marx's idealistic, if flawed, philosophy, I suggest you read the communist manifesto.
  • jkistner1 Stevern... 2012/07/29 19:57:19
    jkistner1
    And yet, having a us military base there, which the Cubans despise, doesn't bother you. Hypocritical Americans.
  • Stevern... jkistner1 2012/07/29 21:43:47
    Steverno~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    It's not the same thing you ignorant American hating progressive.

    The Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba contains nothing more then basic defensive forces.And no major offensive forces (jets,attack helicopters, tactical nukes or main battle tanks) to mount an invasion into the rest of Cuba.

    But on the other hand.A major Russian Naval Base in Cuba allows them to establish a permanent presence in our hemisphere.So nuclear armed subs and ships can be stationed,long term, off the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shorelines of the USA.Ready to attack American cities and military targets,at a movements notice.And with a 5-10 minutes notice that we're under attack.A first strike nuclear attack option by the Russians on us becomes an all too real strategic possibly!

    In October1962,the similar threat of nuclear tipped medium range ballistic missiles in Cuba.Ready to attack American cities and military targets,at a movements notice.Prompted the Cuban Missile Crises.Which was as close of a time America came to having WWIII with the then USSR.

  • jkistner1 Stevern... 2012/07/30 00:12:32 (edited)
    jkistner1
    I love america, even when she does stupid things, such as Cuba or stationing troops and rockets in turkey, even cosier to the Russian border and their hemisphere. I love the USA, but I don't love slavery, persecution of gays, native-Americans or a bunch of other mistakes we've made. Every country makes errors, we need to correct them. Russia, btw, is now a democracy we work with in many areas. The USA is one country in the region, other countries rul themselves and can act according to heir values and interests, just as the USA does.
  • nightcrawler2005 2012/07/28 03:43:49
    No,America's trade embargo with Cuba needs to be continued.
    nightcrawler2005
    +1
    I'm Canadian and go to Cuba on vacation about every other year. Beautiful country. I would like at least one more trip to Cuba before its inundated with Fast Food Restaurants, Starbucks and Walmart Stores.
  • jkistner1 2012/07/28 02:54:17
    Yes,it's time to end America's trade embargo with Cuba!
    jkistner1
    +1
    The embargo was immoral and should never have been initiated.
  • stevegt... jkistner1 2012/07/28 14:45:38
  • jkistner1 stevegt... 2012/07/29 19:54:45
    jkistner1
    Your point? Bay of pigs attack = attack on pearl harbour. Japan doesn't embargo the USA.
  • stevegt... jkistner1 2012/07/31 15:12:29 (edited)
  • texasred 2012/07/27 21:40:39
    Other Thoughts!
    texasred
    +3
    I think I'd like to talk to some of the Cubans that have migrated here to find out what they think before I make a decision.
  • jkistner1 texasred 2012/07/29 19:58:50
    jkistner1
    That's good, talk to a bunch of quislings and traitors.
  • texasred jkistner1 2012/07/29 20:20:03
    texasred
    Goodness, what a tolerant Liberal and Christian you are, unless you're lying on your profile. But, you know they are all quislings and traitors, how?
  • jkistner1 texasred 2012/07/29 23:14:02 (edited)
    jkistner1
    They deserted their own country and chose to live in and support the enemy. What would you call an American who moved to Cuba and supported Castro?
  • texasred jkistner1 2012/07/30 22:02:57
    texasred
    +1
    Americans weren't their enemy; Castro was and still is. Any Communist dictator is the enemy of the people. And Castro is a Communist dictator.

    Any American who moved to Cuba and supported Castro would be a Communist. And as long as they didn't try to take down America, I think that's fine. If you don't believe in Capitalism and free markets, go where you're ideologies make you more comfortable. I'm still trying to figure out where that would be for you.
  • Farnsworth 2012/07/27 19:38:44
    No,America's trade embargo with Cuba needs to be continued.
    Farnsworth
    +3
    choke'em out, let Chavez take care of them
  • Ahrtal 2012/07/27 19:27:44
    No,America's trade embargo with Cuba needs to be continued.
    Ahrtal
    +1
    we re all socialists now

    But I would like to quit smuggling in Cuban cigars when I go abroad.....And just think of all the really cool 1930-59 auto parts that would be freed up! Of course, the cigar business would have to be improved. The seed has been so inbred, that the quality is not not what it was.
  • Hamilton 2012/07/27 17:24:57
    No,America's trade embargo with Cuba needs to be continued.
    Hamilton
    +2
    Unless there is regime change.

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