Many would find it hard to believe that the day would come when Fidel Castro would support negotiations with the US but it appears that new comments from the retired leader of Cuba, show that he is giving his blessing to the progression between the two countries.
It has been some time since anything has been heard from Fidel Castro and this is the first time that he has shown any sort of level of support for the new diplomatic ties that are being formed between the US and Cuba.
While the comments from Castro can be seen as positive, a report be Reuters declared the comments as stopping short of an enthusiastic endorsement of the rapprochement, announced on December 17 by his younger brother and Cuba’s current president, Raul Castro, and U.S. President Barack Obama.
In a statement published on the website of the communist party of Cuba newspaper Granma, Fidel Castro said: “I don’t trust the policy of the United States nor have I had an exchange with them, but this does not mean … a rejection of a peaceful solution to conflicts or the dangers of war.”
The history between the United States and Cuba has been a notoriously difficult one with the US imposing decades of embargos and restrictions on the island state.
Ties between the two counties were official severed by Washington back in 1961 and it was only last week that new top level talks were taking place for the first time to try and create a diplomatic relationship of some sort between Cuba and the United States.
“Any peaceful or negotiated solution to the problems between the United States and the peoples or any people of Latin America that doesn’t imply force or the use of force should be treated in accordance with international norms and principles,” Fidel Castro said.
“We will always defend cooperation and friendship with all the peoples of the world, among them our political adversaries.”
He added in the statement: “The president of Cuba has taken the pertinent steps in accordance with his prerogatives and the powers given to him by the National Assembly the Communist Party of Cuba,” Fidel Castro said of his brother in the statement.
Castro stood down as the president of Cuba in 2008 due to poor health and his brother then took over the roll. Since then there have been many rumours of his death but it appears that this latest statement by the 88 year old shows that he is still very much alive and part of the political landscape of Cuba.