US Congressional Delegation Visiting Cuba Meets with Raul Castro

The US congressional delegation meetiung on Februrary 20, 2018 with Cuban president Raul Castro in Havana. Photo: cubadebate.cu

 

HAVANA TIMES – Cuban President Raul Castro, who steps down in April,  received on Tuesday a delegation of US congress members visiting the island to discuss the alleged sonic attacks suffered by US diplomats stationed in Havana, dpa news reported.

The delegation was led by the Democratic Senator from Vermont, Patrick Leahy, one of the greatest supporters in Congress of the policy of rapprochement between Cuba and the United States.

The meeting took place behind closed doors in a protocol room of the Palace of the Revolution. Bruno Rodriguez, the Cuban Foreign Minister, was also present.

During the meeting, they discussed “matters of interest to both countries,” according to the official note read on state television that offered images of the meeting, although it did not give any details of what was discussed. 

The US delegation also included senators Ron Wyden, Oregon and Gary Peters, Michigan, and representatives Jim McGovern, for Massachusetts and Susan Davis for California.

Previously, the delegation met with the new head of the USA desk at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Carlos Fernández de Cossío, who called the meeting as “constructive and sincere”, also with no details.

The visit to the island began on the weekend and the agenda of the congress people also included meetings with small entrepreneurs, experts from the education sector and biotechnology. The trip concludes on Wednesday with a press conference.

Since the arrival at the White House of Donald Trump, Washington and Havana are going through one of their most tense moments after the government of the United States accused the Castro government of failing to protect its diplomats who suffered mysterious attacks that caused them deafness, dizziness and nausea, among other symptoms.

The crisis led the United States to expel a group of Cuban diplomats who worked in Washington and the removal of most of the US personnel at its embassy in Havana.

The Cuban government denied the accusations and offered to collaborate in the investigations, even allowing an FBI team to enter the country. To date the motives and perpetrators of the alleged attack remain a mystery.

12 thoughts on “US Congressional Delegation Visiting Cuba Meets with Raul Castro

  • Did I miss something or is it to be understood that the Delegation did not meet with the dissident community? Have we not learned that sucking up to the Castros pays no dividends?

    Reply
    • The dissident community in Cuba is small and shrinking, due to recent actions by the U.S. government, i.e. Yanqui Imperialist behavior.
      Nationalism, or rather Patria y La Revolucion is on the rise once again.
      That’s why it’s important that these high-ranking U.S. officials meet with their counterparts in Cuba.
      What dissidents there are, primarily las damas de blanco and a few disgruntled artists, will eventually gain from negotiations between the two sovereign nations.

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      • You make my point. How the US can best negotiate with our Cuban counterparts is by being well-briefed on the Cuba reality. Who better can we trust to share this information with us other than the Dissident community. The Castros will tell us all is well when obviously it is not. I am not sure that I agree that the number of dissidents is shrinking. On the contrary, those who would disagree with the current dictatorship are increasing in number. Where we may agree is that albeit greater in number, their organization is weak. Finally, the best solution for Cuba is one arrived at by Cubans themselves. We empower Cubans who seek a democratic future simply by meeting with them and giving them the resources to organize themselves. If the Delegation failed to meet with Dissidents, they made a mistake.

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    • Maybe because the delegation didn’t want to be disrespectful of their hosts. That was not the purpose of their visit. Do US delegations to other countries visit the opposition or dissidents there? Do foreign delegations to the US visit US dissidents who are anti Trump?

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      • Precisely Brothert Curt. Cuba is a SOVEREIGN country. The USA, not because it is bigger than Cuba is a Sovereign Country. Under the U.N. Charter, all members are equal; all members are SOVEREIGN– To be treated with RESPECT! When are some of us going to learn thay the BIG STICK approach is ANTIQUATED and of no use – out of style? We can all dwell together in PEACE and HARMONY, each SOVEREIGN STATE AND MEMBER OF THE UNITED NATIONS RESPECTING THE SOVEREIGNTY OF EACH OTHER! Why would any delegation want to meet with dissidents from another country?

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      • Anti-Trump folks have a venue to redress grievances. Foreign delegations would bring no added value to the anti-Trump resistance movement by meeting with them. In Cuba, dissidents have no access to media and few resources. Your comment is apples and oranges.

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    • Brother Moses, Why do yo always want to push a spanner in the rolling wheels? Were Raul to visit the USA, will he be allowed to vist the families of those BLACK youngsters who were shot down by the white policemen? When are you going to soar like the eagle in you so that others will gaze up at you? You have it within you to soar but you always seek comfort and nurture in the ghettos of your being? just search for the asset! It is right there within your grasp! RISE! RISE! RISE!

      Reply
      • Yes, he certainly could visit whomever he wished to visit. Fidel went to Harlem, remember?

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  • If it is true, as you state, that the dissident community is shrinking, it is interestingly telling that you (intentionally) omitted The Regime’s heavy hand as a contributing cause.

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  • Fidel was invited to Harlem by Malcolm X after being told the Cuban delegation could not stay in the New York segregated hotels at that time.

    The Cuban ‘dissidents’ are manufactured by the US so what point other that to insult Cuba can be made by visiting a dissident movement the US government has manufactured.

    In the case of Raul visiting the families of victims of US police brutality he would be visiting real victims not people who come up with new ways to provoke state security into arresting them.

    The US diplomats have made these charges concerning being injured and the Cuban government has taken them seriously. So far no one has proposed how these attacks were even possible. Nevertheless Senator Marco Rubio after testifying for himself as head of his own committee says people were hurt, it happened in Cuba and that makes the Cuban government responsible. Why wait for evidence when you can declare guilt without even knowledge of the weapon used.

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    • Cuban dissidents are many things, but manufactured by the US is NOT one of them. They are in many cases given financial and material support but they are definitely home-grown. If they were if US “origin”, they would be better organized and more solidly unified. Your criticism of the Dissident community is simply the same old Castro dictatorship propaganda.

      Reply
  • This articles fails to recognize the U.S. politics of the situation. Patrick Leahy is amongst the most liberal of U.S. senators. His party (the democrats) are out of power. Leahy and his colleagues have no authority. They are little more than tourists.

    Reply

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