The U.S. reopened its embassy in Cuba yesterday, which also happened to be Fidel Castro’s 89th birthday.
Castro used the occasion to insist that the United States owes Cuba millions of dollars over the trade embargo.
Yahoo News reported:
Fidel Castro to US: You owe us millions
Fidel Castro marked his 89th birthday Thursday by insisting the United States owes Cuba “many millions of dollars” because of the half-century-old American trade embargo.
Castro spoke out in an essay published in local media a day before US Secretary of State John Kerry makes a historic visit to Cuba to reopen the US embassy as part of the countries’ restoration of diplomatic relations.
The trade embargo that the United States slapped on communist Cuba in 1962, three years after Castro seized power by ousting a US-backed regime, remains in effect despite the thaw.
President Barack Obama wants Congress to lift it, although US officials say this will take time and is not an automatic part of the restoration of ties, as it requires congressional action.
Many Republicans, who control both chambers of the legislature, oppose the idea, insisting Cuba has to improve its human rights record and make other democratic reforms.
CNN recently published this video about the history of relations between Cuba and the U.S.
Marco Rubio knows a thing or two about Cuba and is reminding the Obama administration that the island nation has a few issues to clear up.
Jordain Carney of The Hill reports:
Rubio wants Kerry to rethink Cuba upgrade on human rights
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is pressing the Obama administration to reconsider its upgraded ranking of Cuba in a recent human trafficking report.
The Florida Republican, a Cuban American who is running for president, sent a letter on Thursday to Secretary of State John Kerry suggesting that a Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report released last month was the subject of “politically driven manipulation.”
“The most glaring example is the politically driven improvement of Cuba from the ‘Tier 3’ category to the ‘Tier 2 Watch List,'” he wrote. “Over the past year, Cuba has done almost nothing to combat human trafficking.”
In addition to demanding the administration reconsider its ranking, Rubio also wants Kerry to hand over all “prior drafts” of the Cuba section in the trafficking report, the names of all State Department and White House officials who signed off on the section and a copy of the Cuban government plan to combat trafficking.
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