According to The Telegraph, retired Cuban president Fidel Castro appeared to lend his support to Cuba’s talks with US with a statement that addressed his longtime adversary for the first time since the two countries restored ties:
Fidel Castro does not “trust the US, nor have I spoken with them,” the revolutionary icon, 88, said in a letter attributed to him and read out on state television Monday. “That does not represent – far from it – a rejection of peacefully settling conflicts,” said the letter, a week after communist Cuba and the United States held landmark talks in Havana as they attempt to normalise ties.
US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced on December 17 that the Cold War rivals would work to normalize relations that broke off in 1961.
Pope Francis played a central role in mediating the secret negotiations that led to the December announcement.
In Washington, some Cuban-American lawmakers have criticised Obama, saying the administration had given up too much without securing human rights commitments. Yet what many observers found most stunning in so much change is that the leader of Cuba’s 1959 revolution – a lawyer by training famous for speaking for hours in excruciating detail – has yet to publicly comment about the detente that his brother Raul, 83, has engaged with his old enemy.
Obama has called on Congress to lift the US embargo on Havana, and used executive powers to ease some travel and trade restrictions. He has also given the State Department six months to review whether Cuba should remain on the terror list.