Cuba

Fidel Castro Backs Normalizing U.S.-Cuba Relations, Also Signals He's Not Dead Yet

U.S.-Cuba relations still have a way to go to get to normal.

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disrupsean|flickr

Eighty eight year old former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro didn't make any public comment after the U.S. and Cuba announced they were working toward normalizing relations between the two countries, frayed since Castro's 1959 revolution.  Castro's silence even fueled rumors the long-time dictator, who handed power to his then 76-year-old younger brother in 2008, had died.  Castro, who in recent years had written occasional and sometimes erratic commentaries, took to the state media to release a letter tentatively backing renewed U.S.-Cuban relations while distancing himself from the decision.

Via USA Today:

"I don't trust the policy of the United States, nor have I exchanged a word with them, but this does not mean I reject a pacific solution to the conflicts," he wrote in a letter directed at a student federation at the University of Havana that was also published in Spanish in the Communist Party newspaper Granma. "We will always defend cooperation and friendship with all the people of the world, including with our political adversaries."

The U.S. began to impose trade restrictions on Cuba shortly after Castro took over the government, citing state takeover of property held in the country by U.S. citizens, and despite current attempts to normalize relations sanctions remain legally in place.

The seized assets translate to as much as $6 billion in debt claimed against Cuba by U.S. citizens, and  the issue is one of several sticking points left on the road to normalized relations. Earlier this month Cuba released 53 political prisoners as part of the deal with the U.S. Sanctions and travel restrictions, despite some easing, cannot be completely lifted without an act of Congress. The Coast Guard has noted a surge in Cuban refugees, returning 121 to the island just after the U.S.-Cuba deal was announced—U.S. immigration policy toward Cuba, which basically legalizes all migration from Cuba to the U.S. once the migrant has made it to within U.S. borders, hasn't changed but Cubans interested in migrating to the U.S. fear, not unreasonably, that it will.

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  1. Fidel: Love is never having to say you’re sorry.

  2. Fidel still dreams of the golden age of Communism. Which would lead one to think this would give him and Obama many hours of pleasant conversation to pursue.

    Well, you know how old guys are, they either get sort of eccentric and become nicer or they just get to be crotchety cantankerous old assholes. There doesn’t seem to be any in between on that one.

  3. Tropico has permanently turned Castro into a subject of mockery for me.

  4. He rolled his eyes left and blinked twice. That…that’s a ‘yes’ right?

    1. No, silly, that’s a request for another mojito.

  5. I gotta say, I thought he was dead. What an unpleasant surprise.

    1. He’s sort of like Gaddafi. Remember how everyone thought Gaddafi was dead, but then he just became Zombie Gaddafi for a while before he actually died for real? I think Castro is just now entering the Zombie Castro stage. And what about Zombie Chavez? Everyone remembers Zombie Chavez. All evil dictators have to go through the zombie stage before they finally die.

      1. Yeah, but Fidel has been a zombie for like 10 years now. I have no clue how he hasn’t dropped dead yet? Is he using some sort of Santeria ritual to keep himself alive?

    2. How much proof do we have that he’s actually alive?

    3. I want him to be alive to experience what the anti-communist revolution does to him. I am hoping for death by immolation.

  6. U.S. immigration policy toward Cuba, which basically legalizes all migration from Cuba to the U.S. once the migrant has made it to within U.S. borders

    Lulz.

  7. “Bring out your dead!”
    “Bring out your dead!”
    “Here’s one!”
    “That’s be ninepence.”
    “…I’m not dead!…”
    “What?”
    “Nothing. Here’s your ninepence.”
    “…I’m not dead!…”
    “‘Em, he says he’s not dead.”
    “Yes, he is!”
    “…I’m not!…”

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