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Fidel Castro rejects thaw between Cuba and US

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By Catherine Hardy  with AFP
Fidel Castro rejects thaw between Cuba and US

Fidel Castro says Cuba will never forget its past disputes with the United States.

The country’s former president says Havana has no need of handouts from Washington.

In an open letter to state newspaper Granma, the 89-year-old says Cuba is capable of being self-sufficient.

Obama’s visit

Barack Obama urged Havana to bury the remains of the Cold War and turn towards democracy and civil rights.

The US president made the speech during an historic visit arranged by Castro’s brother, Raul, the current president.

Relations thaw

This is the first time Fidel Castro has openly voiced opposition to the thawing of relations between Havana and Washington arranged by his brother.

The process began at the end of 2014.

Reciprocal embassies were opened in Havana and Washington in August 2015 and Obama’s visit last week is seen as the high point so far.

It is clear that, while diplomatic ties have improved, tensions remain.