Cuba urges US to act fast in improving relationsJanuary 24th, 2009 - 11:14 am ICT by IANS
Guatemala City, Jan 24 (IANS) Cuba has urged the new US administration of President Barack Obama to act fast towards improving relations between Washington and Havana, EFE news agency reported Saturday.”We are ready to sit down at a table and talk in a civilized manner, but it is not up to Cuba to take the first step,” Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said at a press conference Friday in Guatemala City, where he was attending a meeting of foreign ministers from the Non-Aligned Movement.
“Cuba aspires to having normal and respectful relations with the United States,” he said, calling on Obama to carry out “a profound revision” of US policy toward Havana, one that would include putting an end to the economic embargo Washington imposed on the communist-ruled island in 1962.
The minister also praised Obama for signing executive orders to close the detention centre for suspected terrorists located on the US Navy base at Guantanamo Bay.
“The Guantanamo naval base remains against the will and desire of the people and the government of Cuba,” Roque said.
The two countries have had no diplomatic ties since shortly after the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959, though each maintains an interests sections in the other’s capital.
Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro and his brother, President Raul Castro, had recently expressed warm words for Obama, which were in sharp contrast with decades of anti-US rhetoric.
Fidel, retired and still convalescing from the serious illness that forced him to effectively step down in July 2006, has called Obama a honest man and praised his inaugural address.
In an article titled “Reflection”, the leftist leader said he “did not harbour the slightest doubt about the honesty with which Obama”.
Raul has said more than once that he was prepared to meet with Obama at a time and place of the US leader’s choosing.
- Krishna to visit Cuba to further ties - Jun 12, 2012
- 'Cuba will watch Obama policy before opening talks' (Lead) - Dec 06, 2008
- Cuba willing to swap dissidents with spies held in US: Minister - Jan 29, 2009
- No political concessions for Guantanamo return: Fidel Castro (Lead) - Jan 31, 2009
- Russia says it'll rebuild ties with old ally Cuba (Lead) - Nov 12, 2008
- Fidel Castro demands unconditional return of Guantanamo - Jan 30, 2009
- Castro pokes fun at Obama's summit outfit - Apr 10, 2012
- Castro meets experts to discuss threats to human species - Feb 12, 2012
- Raul Castro's daughter launches blog - Dec 23, 2011
- Fidel Castro addresses Cuban parliament - Aug 08, 2010
- Fidel Castro hails Obama's 'honesty' - Jan 23, 2009
- Raul Castro meets Iranian envoy, pledges stronger ties - Jan 09, 2009
- Socialism can't resolve all ills: Fidel Castro (Lead) - Feb 05, 2012
- Raul Castro calls Obama 'a good man', wishes him luck - Jan 22, 2009
- UN official wants to meet Cuban political prisoners - Jan 30, 2009
Tags: barack obama, brother president, civilized manner, diplomatic ties, economic embargo, efe news agency, felipe perez roque, fidel castro, foreign ministers, government of cuba, guantanamo bay, guantanamo naval base, guatemala city, honest man, navy base, non aligned movement, profound revision, raul castro, respectful relations, us navy