Cuba’s government on Friday criticized US President Donald Trump’s “hostile rhetoric” in announcing new restrictions on Washington’s ties to the island, but reiterated Havana’s willingness to continue “respectful dialogue.”
In a statement read out on the evening news, the Communist government said Trump was resorting to “coercive methods of the past” that hurt the Cuban people and prevented economic development but would not weaken the revolution.
“The government of Cuba denounces the new measures toughening the embargo” imposed since 1962, according to the statement.
However, Havana “reiterates its willingness to continue the respectful dialogue and cooperation” that have taken place with Washington since 2015 when the drive for restored ties began under then president Barack Obama.
Earlier Friday, Trump vowed to overhaul Obama’s policies.
Although the policy changes announced were limited, Trump tightened rules for Americans traveling to Cuba, banned ties with a military-run tourism firm and reaffirmed the existing US trade embargo.
He said in a speech in Miami that he was canceling the “terrible and misguided deal” with Havana.
Cuba regretted “a reversal in relations between the two countries,” the statement said.
“Any strategy to change the political, economic and social system in Cuba, whether through pressure… or through more subtle methods, will be doomed to failure,” Raul Castro’s government said.
On a positive note, the Cuban government said the two countries had proven over the past two years that they could
cooperate and coexist in a civil manner, respecting their respective differences.
“But it should not be expected that to that end, Cuba will make compromises to its very sovereignty,” it said. “The Cuban people will continue deciding themselves on the changes necessary for Cuba.”