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

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

A Bay Area Concrete Recycling facility that opened on PG&E property in 2019. Former PG&E employees have been accused of accepting bribes from Bay Area Concrete. (Courtesy of Bay Area Concrete Recycling via ProPublica)
Lawsuit reveals new allegations against PG&E contractor accused of fraud

By Scott Morris Bay City News Foundation Utility giant Pacific Gas &… Continue reading

New protected bicycle lanes stretch from the city's Portola District to Bernal Heights. (Courtesy Bay City News)
City leaders celebrate protected bike lanes in city’s Portola, Bernal Heights neighborhoods

San Francisco city leaders on Thursday announced the completion of new protected… Continue reading

Basketball (Shutterstock)
Stanford’s NCAA Tournament hopes in peril after close loss to Oregon

Ziaire Williams nearly had his moment on Thursday night. After giving his… Continue reading

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Most Read