Cuba Rejects US Pressure to Make Internal Changes

October 8, 2017 |

Miguel Diaz Canel. Foto Juvenal Balan/ granma.cu

HAVANA TIMES – The Cuban government said today it will not make concessions in its internal affairs and rejected US demands that the island change its political and economic system, reported dpa news.

“Cuba will not make concessions inherent in its sovereignty and independence, will not negotiate its principles or accept conditions,” said Cuban Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

“The necessary changes in Cuba are decided by us,” Díaz-Canel said during the ceremony in tribute to the 50th anniversary of the death of guerrilla Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

The speech is a response to statements by US President Donald Trump at the United Nations where he said that pressure on Cuba would only be lifted when it makes political and economic reforms.

Tensions between Cuba and the United States have increased in recent weeks as a result of alleged “acoustic attacks” suffered by US diplomatic personnel stationed on the island.

The majority of US officials in Havana were withdrawn and the Trump administration called for the departure of 15 Cuban diplomats who work at the Island’s embassy in the United States.

“Some spokespersons and media are lending themselves to divulging strange accusations without any evidence, with the perverse purpose of discrediting the impeccable performance of Cuba,” said Diaz-Canel, who stressed that the island is a safe destination for diplomats and tourists.

Although it has not been officially confirmed, it is likely that Díaz-Canel will be designated president when Raul Castro leaves office in February 2018.

“Che’s colossal example endures and multiplies day by day,” Díaz-Canel told thousands of people during the closing ceremony of the central event in Cuba to commemorate Che’s death.

The event, held in the central city of Santa Clara, about 300 kilometers east of Havana, was presided over by Cuban President Raul Castro, who made no declarations and ceded the leading role to his first vice president.

In Santa Clara is the mausoleum that keeps the remains of Guevara that were transferred in 1997 to the island from Bolivia after a decades’ long search.

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  • Michael Ritchie

    Maybe not so good for Cuba, but… good for Cuba!

  • Moses Patterson

    C’mon. No one really expects the Castro dictatorship to cede power just because our clown President asked them to. This ‘two-step’ will play out like this: In short order, once the Castros are out of the picture, the failed socialist government that remains will make sweeping reforms toward democracy. Of course they are going to claim that they are simply “perfecting” their socialist system. In the meantime, the idiot Trump will take credit for the changes owed to his “tough” stance on Cuba.

    • Terry Downey

      Moses, I don’t think we can expect Raul, Miguel Diaz-Canel, or anyone else within the Cuban government to make any kind of momentous changes towards democracy as long as your American government continues to demand it, and certainly not while Trump is in the picture. Nothing about Trump’s posturing even vaguely resembles a respectful request for anything (he “asked them to”, really?). I also think that any long time dreamers of sweeping reforms toward democracy in Cuba, including little Marco, need to more realistically recall the history of the past and realize that nothing in Cuba happens overnight. Trump will be long buried before we ever see democracy in Cuba… perhaps you and me too, with little Marco left using a walker and boasting about how it all came about because of him.

      • Moses Patterson

        Sadly possible.

        • Terry Downey

          I agree. But it’s not rocket science. The Cuban government has to get their act together… and quick. Waiting on and continuing to blame the US for their lack of progress is not only futile, but exasperating for everyone. The only way the government there will be able to hang onto their revolution is if they finally open up their cheap labor resource to foreign investors interested in setting up shop for manufacturing / assembly, cut the endless bureaucratic red-tape, and allow their foreign partners to export their fair share of profits off the island. Win, win, win for all, except for the US of course. If I were Raul, I’d be fast-tracking that idea for the survival of the revolution now… just as Fidel had to open up the country to tourism for precisely the same reason. Raul and Miguel would be able to stick it to Trump and Rubio, with Trump left in an absolute fit without a seat at the table to do “the better deal”… the better deal that he should have made with Cuba in the first place.

    • Nick

      As you know, I agree with you that trump is an idiot.
      In his dreams he may wish to ‘take credit’ for all sorts of things.
      But I feel that history will only ever go on to credit him with……
      well, being an idiot.

  • Terry Downey

    I find it disturbing that after almost 6 decades of demands from the US government (albeit with Obama’s brief reprieve), that Trump and little Marco, and indeed the aging Cuban/American mafia in Miami, actually still sincerely believe that their return to fist pounding demands on Cuba will truly achieve a different result. By definition, that’s absolute insanity.

    • Hans Frankfort

      Right on, Terry! The aging and dying Cuban Americans can stay in Miami; little Marco is working overtime to keep a dying horse on its feet while ignoring the overwhelming majority of young American Cubans of his generation. They, too, would like to see improvement of the social conditions on the island that should only be determined by Cuba’s residents without interference from up north! America can best mind its own business and look at the mess in their own backyard.

    • Nick

      Hi Terry. Not for the first time I find myself agreeing with you.
      It is indeed disturbing.
      And it all shows how much President Obama shone out simply by being an intelligent, normal kind of a guy with a rational viewpoint towards Cuba.
      As you will know, for almost all Cubans (as for most people everywhere) trump is little more than a sick joke in comparison.

  • Dan

    Meanwhile, on the respect for human rights front, this past Thursday the National Police in Colombia fired onto a gathering of rural families in the municipality of Tumaco, Narino Department, killing 16 people. On Sunday the police attacked an international delegation sent to investigate. Doubtless, we will soon witness the strong rebuke of POTUS, the congress and the US media, for this senseless (yet effective) state violence on behalf of our closest ally in the hemisphere …. won’t we ?