Raul Castro: We are not asking the U.S. to change its political system; we do not accept negotiating ours

Havana, December 21 (RHC) – President Raul Castro said on Saturday that in order to advance relations between Cuba and the United States it is necessary to learn to mutually respect differences and coexist peacefully.

We are not asking the US to Change its political System; we do not Accept Negotiating ours, Raul said.

In his closing remarks of the second session of the Cuban Parliament’s Eight Legislature, the head of state said that the two parties have lately been able to maintain an exchange on issues of mutual benefit.

“We think that we can solve other issues of interest and establish a civilized relationship between the two countries, as our people, most US citizens and the Cuban emigration wish,” he noted.

Raul reiterated Cuba’s willingness to hold a dialog with the United States, a dialog on equal grounds respectful of Cuba’s independence, sovereignty and self-determination.

He recalled that for over 15 years now, four Cuban anti-terrorists have been serving unfair prison sentences in the United States and he noted that their release and return to Cuba with their families has been and will be a top priority for the Cuban people, government and the Communist Party.

Raul Castro referred to his emotional visit to South Africa to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, where he corroborated the affection and gratefulness of the South African people for the people of Cuba and their leader Fidel Castro.

The example of Nelson Mandela will continue to indicate the path towards national liberation and social justice for forthcoming generations, Raul said.

He also highlighted the decisive results of revolutionary forces under the leadership of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro in the recent December 8 municipal elections in that country.

And he referred to what he called the two most important achievements of Cuba this year: the victory at the United Nations, where 188 nations of the world voted in favor of the Cuban resolution demanding the lifting of the US blockade and the election of the island as a member of the UN Human Rights Council.

Raul also referred to the pro-tempore chair by Cuba of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and he expressed the island’s will to contribute to the unity of this region bearing in mind its diversity.

He recalled that the Summit of Latin American and Caribbean Heads of State and Government will take place in Havana next January, which will be another opportunity to exchange views and adopt political decisions on the issues at the center of interest of the nations of the region.