Top Cuban diplomat warns US against helping dissidents

World Today

Josefina Vidal, Cuba’s chief negotiator in discussions with the United States, warned in a televised interview that if the U.S. wants free movement for its diplomats, it must stop using them to support and fund dissidents. CCTV’s Michael Voss reported this story from Havana.

Top Cuban diplomat warns US against helping dissidents

Josefina Vidal, Cuba's chief negotiator in discussions with the United States, warned in a televised interview that if the U.S. wants free movement for its diplomats, it must stop using them to support and fund dissidents. CCTV’s Michael Voss reported this story from Havana.

When Cuban and U.S. negotiators met in Havana last month to begin discussions on restoring diplomatic relations, both sides laid out their preconditions for the re-opening of their embassies.

The United States already has a considerable diplomatic presence in Havana in what’s called an “Interest Section,” not an embassy. The Cubans have the same in Washington. Right now, neither side can travel outside the capital without prior permission. Cuba wants to be taken off the list of state sponsors of terrorism, while the U.S. wants its diplomats to be free to travel around the island.

“They should change their behavior in terms of stimulating, organizing, training, supplying, and financing elements within our country that act against the interests of the state,” Vidal said.

The interview was published in full in Tuesday’s official newspaper Granma, as were a number of new photographs of Cuba’s former leader, Fidel Castro.

The aging revolutionary is seen with the head of the students union, the first pictures released of him in six months. Fidel Castro had been out of view for so long that there was growing speculation about whether he was even still alive. The photos were reported to have been taken Jan. 23, and include some of him watching television and holding a recent newspaper.

Fidel Castro had written a letter to the Students Union saying that while he didn’t trust the United State he did support restoring diplomatic relations, although he urged caution. The next round of negotiations is due to be held in Washington at some point in the coming weeks.


Gary Hufbauer of Peterson Institute discusses US-Cuba normalized relations

CCTV America also interviewed Gary Hufbauer, the Reginald Jones senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and co-author of ‘Economic Normalization with Cuba: A Roadmap for U.S. Policymakers’, about US-Cuba ties.

Gary Hufbauer of Peterson Institute discusses US-Cuba normalized relations

CCTV America also interviewed Gary Hufbauer, the Reginald Jones senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and co-author of 'Economic Normalization with Cuba: A Roadmap for U.S. Policymakers', about US-Cuba ties.


William LeoGrande of American University discusses Cuba-US relations

CCTV America interviewed William LeoGrande, professor of government and a specialist in Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy at American University about the US-Cuba discussions.

William LeoGrande of American University discusses Cuba-US relations

CCTV America interviewed William LeoGrande, professor of government and a specialist in Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy at American University about the US-Cuba discussions.