Cuba willing to negotiate differences with the
By Manuel Alberto Ramy
Cuba’s acting president Army General Raúl Castro
reiterated “our disposition in solving, at the negotiating table, the lengthy
dispute between the U.S. and Cuba” in his speech at the act of commemoration of
the Cuban Armed Forces’ 50th anniversary.
“Of course,” he clarified, “as
long as they accept, like we have said on other occasions, our condition as a
country that does not tolerate a shadow on its independence and based on
principles of equality, reciprocity, non interference and mutual respect.”
During his speech, Castro, who
is also the Second Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, analyzed the
international situation and made special mention of the situation faced by the
Bush administration in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to the acting
president of Cuba, “The U.S. government faces a lose-lose situation (in Iraq):
on one side it knows it can not prolong the occupation of the country, and at
the same time it admits that there is not a minimum of conditions for withdrawal
and at the same time guarantee its interests. But the figure of dead and
mutilated increases among the civilian population, plunged into a civil war as a
consequence of anarchy created by the U.S. occupation.
“There are some who express
the need for an immediate withdrawal from the chaos created by the US. We don’t
know what NATO will do in that case, drawn into the Afghan conflict by its US
allies, which is also becoming increasingly unmanageable and dangerous. Before
the eyes of the whole world, the so called ‘crusade against terrorism’ has led
inexorably to a ‘humiliating defeat’”, Castro said.
Nevertheless, he said he was
confident that the American people will know how to act, as it did in the case
of the Viet Nam War.
The parade, which showed off
weaponry that the Cuban Armed Forces have updated, as well as others designed
and manufactured by the Cuban military industry, lasted 2 hours while Raúl
Castro’s speech was 22 minutes long.
An important aspect of his
speech was a reference to the role played by the Rebel Army (guerrillas) as a
factor of cohesion and popular unity after the revolutionary triumph, when the
Communist Party of Cuba did not exist, a role that is a heritage of the
Liberation Army in its struggles against Spanish colonial power in the 19th