Cuba FM rejects Trump policies, refuses to return asylum seekers


Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parilla addresses the media during a news conference in Vienna, Austria, Monday, June 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Cuba’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, has rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s new policy toward the island. He also refused the U.S. request to return fugitives who have received asylum in Cuba.

CGTN’s Michelle Begue reports.

“A U.S. presidential directive will not be allowed to twist the course of a sovereign Cuba. Just as they were never able to do so during 50 years of aggression, state terrorism, embargoes, media war and subversion,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the new policy would not achieve the objective of weakening the government.

“To the contrary, these measures reinforce our patriotism and our dignity, our decision to defend through every means our national independence in the spirit of our revolutionary idols, Maceo, Marti, Fidel and Raul Castro,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez made his comments in Vienna, Austria on an official visit of five European nations.

The hard-edged response followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s announced shift in U.S.-Cuba policy last Friday in Miami. The changes include tighter restrictions on U.S. travelers to the island and a ban on any payments to businesses linked to the Cuban military.

Unlike President Barack Obama’s administration, there have been no reported meetings between Trump diplomats and Cuban officials. Even so, Rodriguez spoke of Cuba’s willingness to continue communications.

“I reiterate the willingness of Cuba to continue a respectful dialogue and cooperation on issues of mutual interest, and to negotiate the pending bilateral issues with the United States under a basis of equality and the absolute respect to our independence and sovereignty,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez promised to honor the agreements already signed between the two countries, and expressed Havana’s willingness to work together on others.