Cuba Says President Trump's Speech Was 'Loaded With Hostile Rhetoric'

Jun 17, 2017

(WASHINGTON) — The Cuban government is rejecting what it calls the "hostile rhetoric" of President Donald Trump's speech announcing a new U.S. policy toward the island, but says it is willing to continue "respectful dialogue" with the U.S. on topics of mutual interest.

In a statement released on government-run websites and television Friday evening, President Raul Castro's administration says Trump's speech was "loaded with hostile rhetoric that recalls the times of open confrontation."

The lengthy statement goes on to strike a conciliatory tone, saying Cuba wants to continue negotiations with the U.S. on a variety of subjects.

Cuba says "the last two years have shown that the two countries can cooperate and coexist in a civilized way."

Trump announced a series of changes to the Obama-era Cuba policy and is challenging the Cuban government to negotiate a better deal.

Trump said in a speech in Miami that the U.S. will not lift sanctions on Cuba until it releases all political prisoners and respects the Cuban people's right to freedom of assembly and expression.

Trump is also calling for the legalization of all political parties, and free and internationally supervised elections.

The president says his new policy will also restrict the flow of American dollars to the military, security and intelligence services that are the core of the government led by Raul Castro.

He has challenged Cuba to "come to the table" to strike a deal that serves both country's interests.

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