Our position, that of Cuba, is known, we have said it publicly and we have reiterated it for years. It is essentially our willingness to dialogue on any topic under conditions of equality, respect and with the aim of seeking comprehensive solutions or with a comprehensive vision to the problems we have between the two countries and the willingness on that basis to develop a respectful and civilized.
But we have not only declared this position publicly on multiple occasions. It is known that over the years, at various times, we have had the opportunity to dialogue directly with the United States Government and with members of the United States Congress.
Today that is a reality and it cannot be found in any of those opportunities and in any of those conversations that there has been any approach on the part of Cuba that could be interpreted as harmful to the national security interests of the United States. Nor has there been any proposal that could be considered to endanger the political or economic stability of that country or the well-being of its citizens or the standard of living of the American citizen.
Nor have we at any time requested privileged treatment, preferential treatment. We have never even asked for something as a gift in any conversation.
What we have demanded is that we be left alone, that our sovereign rights be respected, that we be allowed to develop as we Cubans want, without interference.
It is known that we have political differences with the United States, as we can have with other countries, and we raise them frankly as they raise them – I must say – frankly to us. But that is part of how ties between many countries develop. And the United States Government, of course, also knows our position that we have the right to defend ourselves. That is a reality.
Now, when we talk about Cuba’s public position and that we are willing to dialogue and have a relationship, it is not only that we say it publicly, it is not only the nature of our exchanges with the United States Government, but we reflect it in practice. , despite the hostility of the United States government, despite the strengthening of the blockade that I described a few minutes ago, despite the failure to fulfill the commitments that both countries assumed bilaterally between 2015 and 2016.
Our country, despite the continued policy of political subversion against Cuba financed with tens of millions of dollars approved by the United States Congress, despite the discredit campaigns against Cuba, despite all that, has been willing For example, to once again expand the United States embassy in Cuba and expand our embassy in the United States. It could be assumed that Cuba would not be willing to do that due to its manifest hostility.
Despite the fact that the United States unilaterally failed to comply with the immigration agreements, Cuba has continued to comply, and we have been willing to hold dialogues on immigration matters. We have celebrated four in the last two years, despite – I repeat – the manifest hostility.
But in addition to that, we have been willing to develop bilateral dialogues in various areas. Curiously, dialogues about terrorism; We celebrate one and we can celebrate more on immigration fraud, maritime protection, geology, agriculture, health, science and technology, environment, education, higher education and to exchange with American society in a broad sense, but also with the United States government.
If it wished, the United States government could assume these actions as acts of good will on the part of Cuba, despite the manifest hostility of the United States government.
And anyone could ask why we do it, that is, anyone can say why, despite this hostility, Cuba maintains this disposition and has dialogue and allows the embassy in Cuba to be expanded and continues to discuss even about terrorism?
And it is a legitimate question that anyone can ask themselves, very legitimate I would say, since history shows how when countries have conflicts, they really refuse to interact. And it has not been Cuba’s behavior.
What I can say is that that is the way we behave in foreign policy in general with any country, even when we have political differences. I can also say that this is how we believe relations between two countries should develop. And that motivates us to act in this way. We also consider that it is beneficial for our country, as we consider it is beneficial for the United States. But it really is already a consideration of the United States.
But very importantly, we do it because we are convinced that we are right in this conflict, and more importantly, we do it because we have the privilege and virtue of enjoying full and true sovereignty. We are owners of our destiny, we truly exercise self-determination. And we have the ability, even under those conditions of hostility, to interact in that way with the United States.
I wish you success in this event in which we always practice learning a lot.