Oh, dear. Seems that President Obama’s Spanish speaking skills may not be as good as we thought they were. Seems that Cuba is not as ready to talk about “everything” as we thought it *said* it was:
From CBS News:
Fidel Castro said Tuesday that President Obama “misinterpreted” his brother Raul’s sentiments toward the United States and bristled at any suggestion Cuba should free political prisoners or reduce official fees on money sent to the island from the U.S.
Raul Castro touched off a whirlwind of speculation that the U.S. and Cuba could be headed toward a thaw in nearly a half-century of chilly relations last week, when he said Cuban leaders would be willing to sit down with their U.S. counterparts and discuss “everything,” including human rights, freedom of the press and expression, and political prisoners on the island.
I can’t help it, I must say that it amuses me to think of the trouble that Raul must be in right now. How badly did he screw that whole thing up? We can blame it on “misinterpretation,” but you know Fidel is threatening to keep him hidden in an attic room somewhere now.
I don’t think anybody really knows what to do with Obama’s extended hand rhetoric. Chavez is shaking hands with Obama, Raul is offering to talk, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is talking to resident flake, George Stephanopoulos… Obama is making world leaders look like total assholes if they don’t also extend a hand–but hell, who really wants to extend a hand when you can be a macho anti-U.S. crusader?
It will be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming years when the newness of Obama rhetoric wears off.
In what could be interpreted as an attempt to warm relations between Cuba and the United States, Cuban President Raul Castro has offered to exchange political dissidents in his country for five Cubans jailed in the United States.
Answering a question about political prisoners in Cuba, Castro said: “We will send those prisoners you talk about [to the United States]with their families. But give us back our five heroes.”
Via / Miami Herald
Could change really be coming with the Obama administration, especially in terms of U.S. – Cuba relations? Fidel Castro and his hermano, the actual president of Cuba Raul Castro seem to think so.
Obama took alot of heat during his presidential campaign for saying that he would be wiling to sit down with so-called “enemy” Latin American countries, namely Cuba and Venezuela.
“With Obama, talks could happen anywhere he wants,” Fidel Castro, America’s longtime Cold War enemy, wrote in the latest of a series of columns he has published in state-run media since falling ill in 2006.
“He should remember the carrot-and-stick approach will not work with our country,” Castro wrote of Obama. “The sovereign rights of the Cuban people are not negotiable.”
In another small move meant to exemplify growing liberties in Raul Castro’s Cuba, the government has lifted a ban against citizens staying at island hotels. Staying at a Cuban hotel was a freedom previously afforded only Cuban newlyweds and “distinguished workers and students”. But there is a catch, today’s edict allows ordinary Cubans access to those hotels only if they pay in hard currency.
Yesterday, in a not so surprising move, the Cuban National Assembly named Fidel Castro’s brother, Raúl, president. The unanimous decision has been interpreted by many as a continuation of brother Fidel Castro’s policies and in fact in his acceptance speech, Raul promised to finish big bro’s work. Any hopes of new leaders were squashed when 77-year-old revolutionary leader, Jose Ramon Machado, was named Vice-President.
Via / NYT, Washington Post
He ain’t dead yet- so the Miami fiestas may be subdued, but there will be fiestas none the less I’m sure as ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro finally admitted what most already knew, that he will not return to lead the country as president or commander-in-chief. This ends a 49 year run as leader of the Caribbean island nation, a position he took in a historic and controversial armed revolution.
To my dear compatriots, who gave me the immense honor in recent days of electing me a member of parliament … I communicate to you that I will not aspire to or accept — I repeat not aspire to or accept — the positions of President of Council of State and Commander in Chief,” Castro said in the statement published on the Web site of the Communist Party’s Granma newspaper.
There is so much speculation about Fidel Castro and his health that it all is fodder worthy enough for a supermarket checkout tabloid and we’ve written about it so much here at VL that if we had a Time magazine like Person of the Year he could be it (along with Chavez). The latest to come out of Cuba via its interim President, Fidel’s baby bro, Raul, is that Fidel is exercising two hours a day (that’s about two hours more than me) and may be prepping to run in an election.
The health of Cuban President Fidel Castro is good enough for him to be a candidate in next month’s parliamentary elections, his brother Raul has said.
Does this mean that Fidel will show up in public or is this just another rumor that will come and go like the rest of them?
Via / BBC
While many old-timers pack up their bags and retire to Miami, the (still) Cuban president Fidel Castro, in a letter read on Cuban tv last night, gave fodder to the rumors that he is out of active politics.
“My elemental duty is not to cling to positions, or even less to obstruct the path of younger people, but to share experiences and ideas whose modest worth comes from the exceptional era in which I lived,” Castro wrote in the final paragraph of the lengthy letter, which mainly discussed the Bali summit on global warming.
President Bush can’t define the word sovereignty, so it comes as no surprise that he is messing in the affairs of another country, yet again. The U.S. pres is planning to issue a stern warning (much like a father would) today to Cuba, that the United States will not accept a political transition in Cuba in which power changes from one Castro brother to another, rather than to the Cuban people (meaning the Cuban people that agree with Bush policies and certain interventions by the U.S.).
It’s been a year since an ailing Fidel Castro handed day to day Cuban ruling power to his lil hermanito, Raul. The Cuban exile community partied in the streets thinking el barbudo to be dead or near dead and the U.S. made plans on what to do with a post-Fidel Cuba. But the parties and speculation didn’t last long as Fidel recovered from a still mysterious intestinal operation (yes yes we know commenter- you think its Crohn’s) Fidel has been representing more than ever, even if not publicaly.