Cuban President says ready to talk with Biden

    Miguel Diaz-Canel

    Havana– Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said that he was ready to talk with US President-elect Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021, “on any subject”.

    “We are willing to discuss any issue, what we are not willing to negotiate and what we will not give in on is the revolution, socialism and our sovereignty,” Xinhua news agency quoted Diaz-Canel as saying on Thursday while addressing the annual session of Parliament.

    “Those principles will never be on the table,” he said.

    In October, Biden said that the US needed a new Cuba policy, though it remained unclear how quickly he will move on implementing his policy on the island.

    The former Vice President has also said he would eliminate incumbent President Donald Trump’s restrictions on remittances and travel to Cuba.

    On November 9 soon after Biden’s victory in the presidential election, Diaz-Canel had tweeted: “We recognize that the US people have chosen a new direction in the presidential elections. We believe in the possibility of having a constructive bilateral relation while respecting our differences.”

    In March 2016, Barack Obama became the first sitting US President to visit Cuba since 1928 following the warming of bilateral relations that began in December 2014, ending a 54-year stretch of hostility.

    But tensions between Cuba and the US worsened after Trump took office in 2014.

    The Trump administration has increased the trade embargo, first imposed in 1962, which has banned American flights to Cuban cities except Havana; barred cruise ships and yachts from visiting the island; and limited remittances Cuban-Americans send to their families on the island.

    Washington has also re-instated Cuba into a list of countries that “do not fully cooperate with the US counter-terrorism efforts”.

    The decision prohibits the sale or license for the export of defence articles and services to the nations contained in the blacklist.

    It is the first time that Cuba was re-listed as a state sponsor of terrorism by Washington since it was removed in 2015 after having been placed on the terror list for 33 years. (IANS)