Obama won't meet Raul Castro's demands, but doesn't regret Cuba move
By Ben Wolfgang - The Washington Times - Thursday, January 29, 2015
The Obama administration has no intention of meeting Cuban President
Raul Castro's various preconditions for normalizing diplomatic relations
with the U.S., officials said Thursday.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters the
administration, while not entertaining the idea of, for example,
returning the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay back to Cuba, does
not regret the historic decision to end 50 years of isolation and reopen
diplomatic avenues with Havana.
"I think what [Mr. Castro's] comments highlight is there are pretty
clear differences between establishing diplomatic relations and carrying
out the longer process of normalizing relations," Mr. Earnest said.
Mr. Castro this week laid out three central conditions for fully
normalizing relations with the U.S. — the lifting of the American
embargo on Cuba; the return of Guantanamo to the Cuban government; and
compensation for the "human and economic damage" suffered by the Cubans
as a result of U.S. policies.
It's not yet clear whether Congress will move to lift the embargo, but
the White House all but ruled out the other two conditions.
Still, Mr. Earnest said the decision to open diplomatic channels with
Havana was a good one, as it will allow the U.S. to have greater
influence over the country and provide a more formal way to express
displeasure with certain Cuban policies.
"There are a variety of concerns we have with the way the Castro regime
treats political dissidents, the way they treat individuals who are
trying to freely express their views, even the way they treat some
reporters," he said.
Source: Obama won't meet Raul Castro's demands, but doesn't regret Cuba
move - Washington Times -
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