Cuba’s President Raul Castro said Donald Trump’s hard-line stance towards Cuba was a setback in relations with the United States after ties were gradually restored in 2015. He criticised Trump’s partial rollback of his predecessor Barack Obama’s rapprochement with Cuba speaking ahead of the second anniversary of Havana embassy’s reopening in Washington on 20th July.
“The announcements made by the current president… mean a setback in bilateral relations,” Castro said Friday in remarks broadcast on state television at the closing of the first session of Cuba’s parliament.
The remarks came after Trump last month stood before a crowd of US veterans who had taken part in the defeated ‘Bay of Pigs’ invasion of Cuba by US troops and announced tightened rules for Americans travelling to Cuba, banned ties with a tourism firm and reaffirmed the existing US trade embargo.
Castro called the new measures a toughening of the US embargo against the island, imposed since 1962, saying they evoked “an old and hostile rhetoric that characterised the Cold War”. He also denounced the manipulation of Cuba over human rights issues. “Cuba has much to be proud of, and it does not have to receive lessons from the United States or anyone else,” he said during the session.
“Any strategy that seeks to destroy the revolution, whether through coercion or pressure or through subtle methods, will fail,” said Castro.