Thursday, December 07, 2006

Reading between the lines

You know those comments by Raul Castro over the weekend offering to sit down with the United States and talk turkey?

As most analysts pointed out at the time, the supposed "new" offer from the “temporary” Cuban president is in fact, not new at all. And it’s heavily conditional.

Which may explain why the US administration rejected the supposed overtures out of hand.

But just how serious is the younger Castro?

I point you to an unusual article published overnight by the regime’s official newsagency, Prensa Latina, under the heading, "Cuba's Olive Branch-Defense Strategy".

It’s written by the improbably-named Circles Robinson, who is described as an American journalist living in Cuba, which essentially means that his writing reflect the views of the regime. Otherwise, they would not be published by Prensa Latina.

The article is unusual because it is critical by inference of the “antagonistic” policies pursued in the past by the now seriously ill Fidel Castro.

According to Mr Robinson, “Raul moved away from antagonistic politics by extending an olive branch to Washington” during his speech at the Plaza de la Revolucion.

“Everyone, be them pro-Revolution or not, would like to see an improvement in the country's material living standards,” he writes.

“While some people joke that the blockade has served as a catch-all excuse for any internal deficiencies and that the government wouldn't know what to do without it, the country's leaders have made it clear that they accept any challenges posed by improved US-Cuba relations. Raul Castro's offer to negotiate the two countries’ differences is serious.”

Perhaps I am reading way too much into this?

Anyway, make up your own mind. Read the article here.


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