Cuban leader vows government not up for negotiations for US relations


In addition to pulling out of the Paris climate agreement the U.S. President has threatened to roll back U.S. Cuba relations.

President Raul Castro said his form of government is not up for negotiation.

CGTN’s Michael Voss reports.

Cuba’s Parliament, the National Assembly of People’s Power, normally meets just twice a year in December and July but President Raul Castro called it back for a special session on Thursday to ratify updates to the island’s economic plans and reforms.

The National Assembly voted unanimously to approve the updated reforms or guidelines as they are called here. It is believed they include the recognition of small and medium sized private enterprises. So far no details have emerged of what the changes involve.

What was given prominence on state television was President Castro’s closing speech where he indicated that whatever the economic reforms Cuba was not about to change politically.

“We reaffirm the socialist character of the Cuban revolution and the role of the Communist Party as the superior guiding force of society and the state,”Raul Castro said.

Raul Castro is due to step down as President next year and his goal is to create the conditions for what he terms a prosperous and sustainable socialism.

The economy is in trouble right now. The crisis in Venezuela has forced its major ally to reduce much needed subsidized oil shipments.

The one bright spot is tourism which is booming now that the U.S. and Cuba have restored diplomatic relations. U.S. President Donald Trump, though, has threatened to roll back the detente unless there are political reforms.

The message from Havana is that the island is not about to make political concessions even as it continues to open up economically.