Updated 06:39 AM EST, Fri, Nov 27, 2020

Cuba's President Raul Castro Slams U.S. Government for Maintaining Programs ‘Harmful’ to Cuban Sovereignty Despite Thawing Relations

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Cuban President Raúl Castro said that the United States government can do more actions to further normalize relations between the two countries.

In an unscheduled broadcast on state television, the Cuban leader acknowledged the improvements made between Havana and Washington since the two administrations thawed diplomatic relations in December 2014, but he also criticized some of the U.S.' programs for its limited scope and its effects on Cuba's sovereignty, RT reported.

According to the news outlet, Castro discussed about how it is "imperative that the government of the United States remove all policies of the past" to be able to witness significant changes.

One of the points highlighted in Castro's speech on Friday was the continued broadcasting of Radio Marti and TV Marti by the U.S, RT noted. The stations, which are based in Miami, Florida, are financed by the U.S. government and transmitted to Cuba with programming broadcast set in Spanish. Castro believes that this situation negatively targets Cuba's sovereignty.

"The United States maintains programs that are harmful to Cuban sovereignty, such as projects to promote changes in our political, economic and social order," the 84-year-old president said, as quoted in RT's report.

Castro also criticized the ongoing trade embargo, as well as the U.S. immigration policy granting automatic residence to Cuban migrants if they reach the U.S. by land, the news outlet added.

In addition, Castro said that President Barack Obama should apply more force if he wants the two countries' relations to improve faster, RT wrote. He also took note of the U.S. government's refusal to stop illegally occupying Guantánamo Bay, despite Cuba's continued efforts to claim the territory.

Some of the achievements that the U.S. and Cuba have attained are in the political, diplomatic, and cooperation fields, Castro shared. Aviation safety was discussed and expanded, along with agreeing to fight against drug trafficking, illegal migration, alien smuggling, and migration fraud, Havana Times listed.

New possibilities for bilateral cooperation have also gave way to law enforcement, environmental protection, health, and maritime and port security, Havana Times added. Other agreements addressed by the two nations are climate change, traffic in persons and human rights, mutual compensations, and the re-establishment of a direct postal service.

Castro said that these accomplishments were reached through "a professional and respectful dialogue based on equality and reciprocity," the news outlet further reported.

The Cuban leader said that his government is "fully willing" to work on the normalization of diplomatic relations but such changes should be "based on mutual respect for sovereignty and independence," RT added.

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