BEIJING – The Cuban foreign minister on Tuesday defended the Havana regime as one that is “indigenous and viable” and said that the advent of the Barack Obama administration has not brought “a change in U.S. policy toward Cuba.”
Speaking to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Bruno Rodriguez emphasized the good relations between the Chinese and Cuban governments, contrasting this state of affairs with “the policy of blockade, aggression, internal subversion and international isolation of the United States against Cuba,” that, he said, “has failed.”
Rodriguez, on the first day of his three-day official visit to China, said that a U.S. military attack on Cuba is more and more unviable with each day that goes by.
President Raul Castro’s government “is willing to talk with the United States about any matter, but without a shadow on our sovereignty or interference in (our) internal affairs,” he added.
While Obama has lifted restrictions on Cuban-Americans’ travel and remittances to the island, he appears reluctant to contemplate any further gestures toward Havana without moves by the Castro regime to free political prisoners and allow more freedom of expression.
Regarding Havana’s relations with China, Rodriguez emphasized the fluid exchange of official visits, adding that Beijing and the communist island “share common positions on the main issues on the international agenda,” such as coping with the global economic crisis.
He also called Chinese support for Cuban economic development “decisive” and noted Cuba’s historical support for Beijing’s bid to acquire a seat on the United Nations Security Council in the 1970s.
The foreign minister concluded by saying that “the Cuban Revolution has committed no strategic error, but it is true that there are problems and distortions mainly due to external circumstances and also to economic errors.”
“Cuba is a viable country and socialism is the only viable system in Cuba,” he declared.
The foreign minister on Wednesday will begin his program of meetings with Chinese leaders, among them his counterpart Yang Jiechi, as well as Vice President Xi Jinping. EFE