(The English translation of Josefina Vidal's text should
be available later today. Presumably this is the Cuban
response to Obama's comments to Jose Diaz-Balart which
were broadcast on Telemundo this week. They are posted
below for readers' convenience.)
Cuba Reiterates Willingness to Normalize Relations with Washington
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 1 (ACN) A statement released Friday by the director of the United States Department at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Josefina Vidal, reads that the United States can always count on the willingness of the Cuban people and government to jointly work for the advancement of bilateral relations.
The statement reads that It is regrettable that President (Barack) Obama continues to be poorly advised and informed about Cuban reality and the actual feeling of the Cuban people, who wish the normalization of bilateral relations.
Cuba continues to change and advance, but the over- 50- year US hostile policy on Cuba has not changed at all, the statement concludes.
(This is just the section on Cuba.
Link to full interview follows.)
President Barack Obama participates in an interview with Jose Diaz Balart for
Telemundo in the White House Library, Jan. 30, 2013. (Official White House Photo
by Lawrence Jackson)
Obama tells Telemundo he hopes for immigration overhaul within 6 months
10:26 pm on 01/30/2013
On the heels of his remarks in Las Vegas on immigration reform, President Barack
Obama granted an interview to “Noticiero Telemundo” news anchor José
Díaz-Balart at the White House.
Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart (JDB)
5 am ET, 10:55 am CT, 12:30 pm PT).
Yesterday Secretary Clinton– referring to Cuba said it’s a dictatorship that
must change in the near future. That policy of your administration, of no
normalization until there’s democratization, do you see that changing in your
second term with a new secretary of State?
Well, you know– we have tried to– make overtures that were good for the
Cuban people. You know, loosening up remittances from family members.
Loosening up travel for family members back to Cuba. Because our view has been
that that empowers civil society inside of Cuba. That empowers people– who,
you know, wanna have a voice in Cuba.
But what we’ve also said is– is that– in order for us to see an actual
normalization– of the relations between– the United States and Cuba, that we
have to do something about all those political prisoners– who are still there.
We’ve gotta do something about just basic freedoms of– of the press and–
We don’t expect every country to operate the way we do. And obviously we do
business with a lot of countries around the world– that don’t meet our
standards in terms of– you know, constitutions and rights. But we do think
it’s important for us to continue to push to make sure that– the Cuban
people themselves– have a voice in their lives.
And– my hope is is that– slowly but surely– the Cuban leadership begins to
recognize, “It’s time to join the 21st century.” You know, it– it– I
mean it– it– it’s– it’s one thing to have cars from the 1950s. It’s
another thing when (CHUCKLE) your whole political ideology– is coming out–
is– is 50 years or s– or 60 years old and– and it’s been proven not to
And– I think that we can have– progress over the next four years. I’m
happy to engage it. I think it would be good for the Cuban people. But– but
it’s– it’s gotta be a two way street. It can’t just be– that we look
away completely from– you know, the very sad circumstances that a lot of
Cubans– still live in.
Los Angeles, California
"Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"