Last week, Barack Obama became the first U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge to visit Cuba. The visit didn’t always go smoothly, with Obama and current Cuban president Raul Castro holding an uncomfortable press conference about human rights.
Now, however, former Cuban president Fidel Castro has written a letter criticizing Obama’s visit, and the message behind it. As The Guardian reports:
The former president writes that Obama is asking them to forget “a ruthless blockade that has now lasted for almost 60 years,” as well over half a century of US aggression against Cuba including the decades-long trade embargo against the island; the 1961 Bay of Pigs attack and the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner by anti-Castro exiles which killed 73 people.
He, therefore, calls Obama’s message of reconciliation “honey-coated,” and asks that the U.S. president not interfere in the island nation’s political system:
“My humble suggestion is that he reflects [on the US role in South Africa and Cuba’s in Angola] and not now try to elaborate theories about Cuban politics,”
Castro also points out potential U.S. encroachment into Cuban’s tourism industry, signaled by Airbnb and Starwood Hotels’ increasing presence. Castro foresees even more corporate and foreign dominance; getting away from this influence is what motivated the elder Castro’s revolution in the first place.
Whether you agree or not, Castro’s letter is a good reminder that Cuba and the U.S. reestablishing relations is still a complicated endeavor.
(via The Guardian)