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US says return of Guantanamo to Cuba 'not part of discussions'


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US says return of Guantanamo to Cuba 'not part of discussions'

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The US has downplayed calls by the Cuban President for the return of the US Guantanamo naval base as part of plans to normalise US-Cuba relations.

The White House responded by saying the Guantanamo question has not been part of discussions with Cuba.

A spokesman, Josh Earnest, added that both countries were far apart on numerous issues.

“It’s clear that there are a wide variety of disagreements between the United States and Cuba, and more directly, between the US government and our values and the Cuban government and the values that they so often fail to codify,” he said.

“There are a variety of concerns that we have with the way that the Castro regime treats political dissidents, the way that they treat individuals who are trying to freely express their views. Even the way that they treat some reporters.”

Cuban President Raul Castro on Wednesday warned against what he called any meddling from the US in its internal affairs.

The comments came after the US Assistant Secretary of State held talks with Cuban officials on the plans to restore diplomatic ties, but then also met Cuban dissidents.

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