Late last year, an epic deal between one-time enemies, Cuba and the United States of America drew praise from many and stirred up paranoia in others. The last relics of the Cold War were placed in a coffin in December 2014 when officials from both countries decided it was time to start opening trade with each other.
There were many who felt the idea was suspect and wondered how Fidel Castro, if he was still running the country would approve.
In a hand-written letter, the former El Presidente spoke about his distrust of American policy and how he feels about any new deal between the countries.
VICE writes about Castro’s letter:
Cuba’s revolutionary leader and longtime president Fidel Castro has apparently broken his silence over the communist country’s move to normalize diplomatic relations with the US, telling students that though he still doesn’t trust the American government, “we will always defend cooperation and friendship with all of the world’s people, among them our political adversaries.”
The comments came in a letter purportedly written by Castro that was read out on Monday at the University of Havana on the 70th anniversary of his own matriculation at the school.
On December 17, the US and Cuba announced plans to normalize diplomatic ties and establish embassies in their respective capitals. Last week, representatives from the two countries met in Havana for highly symbolic talks, the highest level discussions in more than half a century.
Castro, who seized power in 1959, is now 88 and in recent years has suffered a series of health problems. In 2006, he ceded power to his younger brother Raul, who announced the December agreement on Cuban television.
‘I don’t trust the policy of the United States, nor have I exchanged a word with them, but this does not mean I reject a pacific solution to the conflicts.’
Until the letter, also published by Cuba’s communist party newspaper Granma, little was known of Fidel’s involvement or opinion on an agreement with a country that for years tried to have him killed.
He vouched for the legitimacy of the decision, saying his brother Raul had properly consulted Cuba’s National Assembly and the Communist Party about the agreement. While giving his tacit approval, Fidel added that he still hadn’t personally spoken with anyone representing the American government.
“I don’t trust the policy of the United States, nor have I exchanged a word with them, but this does not mean I reject a pacific solution to the conflicts,” he wrote.
Read more about his letter and feelings on the U.S. here