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Cuba denounces Trump policy changes but is open to dialogue

Havana: Cuba’s government has criticised Donald Trump’s “hostile rhetoric” in announcing new restrictions on US ties to the island nation, but reiterated
Havana’s willingness to hold “respectful dialogue” with Washington.

“The government of Cuba denounces the new measures toughening the embargo” imposed since 1962, according to a statement read on state television on Friday.

However, Havana “reiterates its willingness to continue the respectful dialogue and cooperation” that have taken place with Washington since 2015 when the drive for restored ties began under then president Barack Obama.

Earlier yesterday, Trump vowed to overhaul Obama’s policies. Although the policy changes announced were limited, Trump tightened rules for Americans traveling to Cuba, banned ties with a military-run tourism firm and reaffirmed the existing US trade embargo.

Havana decried the “hostile rhetoric that recalls the time of open confrontation,” and “return to the coercive methods of the past.” Cuba regretted “a reversal in relations between the two countries,” the statement said.

“Any strategy to change the political, economic and social system in Cuba, whether through pressure or through more subtle methods, will be doomed to failure,” Raul Castro’s government said.