HAVANA - Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez called U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent speech on Cuba a “grotesque spectacle” that will only serve to strengthen the revolution, and criticized the Trump administration’s decision to roll back some Obama-era policies toward the island nation.
“Cuba will make no concessions on its sovereignty and its independence,” Rodriguez told reporters in Vienna on Monday. “[Cuba] will not negotiate over its principles and will never accept [imposed] conditions.”
The comments were in response to Trump’s speech last Friday in Miami, which is home to a large Cuban exile community. Standing next to U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, whose parents are Cuban immigrants, Trump vowed to cancel “the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba.”
To raucous applause, Trump delineated his new policies, including a prohibition on American financial engagement with firms tied to the Cuban military conglomerate GAESA, and tighter rules for Americans traveling to the Caribbean island.
Trump also demanded that Cuba return fugitives wanted by the United States, but Rodriguez said Cuba would not comply.
“Cuba conceded political asylum or refuge to U.S. fighters for civil rights,” Rodriguez said. “These persons will not be returned to the United States.
Despite criticizing the Obama administration’s Cuba policies, Trump will leave many of his predecessor’s policies untouched. Commercial flights will continue and the U.S. embassy in Havana will remain open.
At length, Rodriguez also criticized alleged U.S. human rights abuses.
“There are many and systematic murders, brutality and abuses by the police, particularly against African Americans,” Rodriguez was quoted [by Prensa Latina] as saying.