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Castro says US must lift embargo to further normalize relations

Obama editorial
U.S. President Barack Obama extends his hand to Cuban President Raul Castro at the start of their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

By Patty Vila, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Cuba Expert, Sept. 30, 2015 – It was four months after the Cuban revolution in 1959, Fidel Castro came to the U.S. because he was invited by the American Society of Newspaper Editors.  Fidel met with then Vice President Richard Nixon.

Now five decades have passed and for the first time on American soil President Obama is meeting with President Raul Castro. Castro, at 84 years old is on his first visit to the United States since 1959.

Castro has stood strong and has mentioned that the two countries can normalize ties only after Washington ends its trade embargo and returns the Guantanamo U.S. naval base to Cuban control.

Obama told the U.N. on Monday he was confident the U.S. Congress would eventually lift the embargo. His administration has said that it does not intend to return the naval base, though it is working hard to close the controversial prison.

In October the General Assembly is expected to vote for the 24TH time to condemn Washington’s embargo on Cuba. In the 193-nation assembly, last year 188 countries voted for the nonbinding resolution, with the United States and Israel voting against it.   My sources in Washington D.C. have said on condition of anonymity that the U.S. may consider abstaining during the annual U.N. General assembly vote next month.  The resolution has no legal effect. In October it will mark 70 years since the General Assembly was established.