Castro offers talks with incoming U.S. administration

Cuba's acting leader Raul Castro offered to hold talks with Washington once the current U.S. administration is gone.

Castro offers talks with incoming U.S. administration
Cuba's acting leader Raul Castro offered to hold talks with Washington once the current U.S. administration is gone.

"If the new U.S. administration finally puts aside their arrogance and decides to talk in a civilized fashion, that would be very welcome," he said while addressing the country's traditional National Revolutionary Day ceremony in Camaguey, a town some 533 km southeast of the Cuban capital.

"By next year the erratic and dangerous administration of George W. Bush will be over, along with its fundamentalist and retrograde thinking that gives no quarter to rational analysis on any matter," he said during his one-hour speech which was broadcast nationwide.

"The new administration will have to decide whether it maintains this absurd, illegal and failed policy against Cuba or accepts the olive branch we extended," he said.

He restated Cuba's wish to discuss its differences with the United States, providing they are treated as equals.

This is the third time that Raul has offered to hold such talks. The first time was on Aug. 18 in the official newspaper Granma and the second was during a Dec. 2 military parade.

However, he warned that if Washington persists with over half acentury of enmity, the Cubans are well prepared to continue their resistance to the U.S. blockade and attack.

The 76-year-old interim leader also announced that Cuba plans to allow more foreign investment to boost its economy.

Raul Castro said Cuba's leader, 80-year-old Fidel Castro, is recovering and increasingly active.

Fidel Castro temporarily ceded power to his brother, Defense Minister Raul Castro in July last year in order to undergo an operation to treat his intestinal bleeding. He has not been seen in public since then.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Temmuz 2007, 19:57
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