CASTRO TO OBAMA: Reparations, Gitmo, and Cutoff From Dissidents

Here’s the price for ‘normalized relations.’

The good news: The discomfort over the embargo of Cuba has led to a good bargaining position in talks with the US. The bad news: Raul Castro’s the one that thinks so. Far from being grateful for the diplomatic overture from Barack Obama, Castro wants the US to pay reparations for the economic damage that Castro says the embargo caused, plus the immediate return of control over Guantanamo Bay, as the opening ante for normalizing relations:

Castro told a summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States that Cuba and the U.S. are working toward full diplomatic relations but “if these problems aren’t resolved, this diplomatic rapprochement wouldn’t make any sense.”

So much for the yearning of the Cuban people for normalcy, eh? As far as Obama’s suggestion that engagement will bring about reform in Cuba, Castro has another demand:

Without establishing specific conditions, Castro’s government has increasingly linked the negotiations with the U.S. to a set of longstanding demands that include an end to U.S. support for Cuban dissidents and Cuba’s removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

On Wednesday, Castro emphasized an even broader list of Cuban demands, saying that while diplomatic ties may be re-established, normal relations with the U.S. depend on a series of concessions that appear highly unlikely in the near future.

Read more: Hot Air

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