Cuba is rejecting the demands by US President Donald Trump, including the extradition of those US fugitives it regards as fighters for civil rights. The island nation will never negotiate its independence and sovereignty, the Cuban foreign minister said.
The new measures announced by Trump on Friday will only “strengthen our patriotism, our dignity, and our determination to defend by all means our national independence,” Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla said at a press conference in Vienna, after meeting with his Austrian colleague.
The US government “has no moral authority to lecture us on human rights and democracy,” Rodriguez said, pointing to the US incarceration rates, police abuses, and violations of rights of minorities, immigrants and Muslims.
At one point picking up Trump’s trademark Twitter style, Rodriguez quoted the US president’s statement in Saudi Arabia that the US is “not here to tell other people how to live,” but that his Cuba announcement was “quite the opposite. Sad!”
The Cuban FM repeated Havana’s position that the US blockade – in effect since 1962 – is unjust, inhumane, genocidal, and violates international law.
Cuba will not make any concessions regarding its sovereignty and independence, it will not negotiate its principles, and will not accept any precondition, Rodriguez said.
While Havana will not respond until the US measures are officially implemented, Rodriguez said that what Trump announced looks to hurt US businesses, taxpayers and citizens, as well as the very Cuban people he supposedly seeks to champion.
Rodriguez also denounced the Cuban-Americans gathered in Miami to support Trump’s announcement, calling them an “aged, illegitimate minority,” and said that if Trump sought to reward the exiles for their votes, he was mistaken.
Trump “did not win the Cuban vote, and did not win Florida with the Cuban vote,” the FM said, adding that Trump lost all five counties with the highest density of Cuban-Americans, according to the election results.
Rodriguez also made a parting shot at Trump, noting that someone who was elected promising innovation and “America First” ended up reverting to a failed Cold War policy, one that restricts the rights of US citizens and harms US business.
On Friday, Trump announced that he would revoke the “one-sided deal” the previous administration made with Cuba, blocking individual US travel and all economic transactions with government entities, until Havana releases all political prisoners, legalizes all political parties and schedules internationally supervised elections.