The Cold war is far from being over for former Cuban Prime minister Fidel Castro who is insisting that the United States owes Cuba “many millions of dollars” because of the half-century-old American trade embargo. 89-year-old Castro spoke out in an essay published in local media a day before US Secretary of State John Kerry makes a historic visit to Cuba to reopen the US embassy as part of the countries’ restoration of diplomatic relations.
The trade embargo that the United States slammed on communist Cuba in 1962, three years after Castro seized power by ousting a US-backed regime, remains in effect despite the thaw. We hear President Barack Obama wants Congress to lift it, although US officials say this will take time and is not an automatic part of the restoration of ties as it requires congressional action. Many Republicans who control both chambers of the legislature however oppose the idea, insisting Cuba has to improve its human rights record and make other democratic reforms.
Castro’s stance remains that “Cuba is owed compensation equivalent to damages, which totals many millions of dollars, as our country has stated with irrefutable arguments and data in all of its speeches at the United Nations.” He didn’t give details as to how much Washington owes Havana but the Americans are also claiming compensation for US-owned property, such as real estate, that was confiscated when Castro took power. Castro failed to acknowledge Kerry’s visit to reopen the embassy, a step that comes eight months after Obama and Castro’s successor and brother Raul announced plans to restore relations. Something might still be needing the attention of both governments