Raul Castro welcomes renewal of relations with US

Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP PhotoRaul Castro has agreed to restore relations with the United States. In this photo

Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP PhotoRaul Castro has agreed to restore relations with the United States. In this photo

Cuban President Raul Castro told Cubans Wednesday his nation has agreed to restore relations with the United States, 53 years after diplomatic ties were broken.

Castro spoke in a televised address that coincided with a statement by U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, saying that while profound differences remain between the two countries, they must learn to live with them “in a civilized manner.”

Streets in Havana were calm as people gathered around television sets and teachers stopped their midday lessons to listen to the historic news.

But as Castro spoke, church bells tolled in celebration at the University of San Geronimo in Old Havana.

“For the Cuban people, I think this is like a shot of oxygen, a wish-come-true, because with this, we have overcome our differences,” said Carlos Gonzalez, a 32-year-old IT specialist. “It is an advance that will open the road to a better future for the two countries.”

Guillermo Delgado, a 72-year-old retiree, welcomed the announcement as “great news.”

“It is a victory for Cuba because it was achieved without conceding basic principles,” Delgado said. “For Obama, I think it's a spectacular step, that all countries should change this irrational policy.”

In his address, Castro thanked the Vatican and the Canadian government for helping in the negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Castro and his brother, Fidel, led the 1959 rebellion that toppled the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. The U.S. initially recognized the new government but broke relations in 1961 after Cuba veered sharply to the left and nationalized U.S. owned businesses.

Bay Area NewsCubaNational NewsWorld News

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

A former inmate and a sheriff’s deputy are among the first four members chosen to serve on the newly created Sheriff’s Department Oversight Board. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Years after fight club scandal, Sheriff’s oversight board takes shape

‘We want to promote law enforcement best practices’

More than a thousand people gathered in front of the California Capitol building to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order and demand that the state re-open on May 1, 2020. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)
Newsom blames ‘right-wing pundits’ for COVID surge

By Emily Hoeven CalMatters Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday placed the blame… Continue reading

Strong California revenues will allow the state to commit to offering no-cost food to every student. (Amanda Mills/Pixnio)
How California plans to offer free daily meals to 6 million public school students

By Ali Tadayon EdSource With one in every six children facing hunger… Continue reading

Most Read