Raul Castro dismisses harsher United States tone

Castro to Trump: Cuba doesn't need 'lessons' from the US

Castro to Trump: Cuba doesn't need 'lessons' from the US

Cuban President Raul Castro warned that Donald Trump's hardline stance towards the country was a "setback" in relations with the United States after ties were gradually restored in 2015.

Castro's comments to Cuba's National Assembly on Friday were his first on Trump's June announcement of a partial rollback of the Cuba-U.S. detente achieved by then-President Barack Obama.

The remarks came after Trump last month stood before a crowd of anti-Castro activists in Miami's Little Havana and announced tightened rules for Americans traveling to Cuba, banned ties with a military-run tourism firm and reaffirmed the existing U.S. trade embargo.

"Cuba and the United States can cooperate and live side by side, respecting their differences", he said. They contained echoes of the harsh rhetoric of the past.

Trump proclaimed during his presidential campaign that if he were elected he would roll back ties with Cuba due to human rights concerns and seek "a better deal with its government".

In his first public riposte to Trump since the latter unveiled his new Cuba policy last month, Castro told the national assembly that any attempt to topple the revolution would fail, as it had under 11 previous USA presidents.

"We reject the manipulation of the topic of human rights against Cuba, that can be proud of much in this area, and does not need to receive lessons from the United States nor anyone", Castro said, according to Cubadebate. "But no one should expect that for this, one should have to make concessions inherent to one's sovereignty and independence".

Formal ties between Cuba and the U.S. broke off in March 1961 due to ideological differences during the Cold War, and were resumed in July 2015 after more than a year of secret negotiations by Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro.

The original Cuban government response to Trump's declaration was restrained, expressing rejection of the tightened policy but emphasizing openness to continuing "respectful" negotiation.

But he ordered tighter restrictions on Americans travelling to Cuba and a clampdown on USA business dealings with the military in the Caribbean island.

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