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Cuba President Open to Dialogue with Trump Administration, But With Caveat

"Cuba and the United States can cooperate and coexist civilly," said Castro

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    "Cuba and the United States can cooperate and coexist civilly," said Cuban President Raul Castro in a speech at the Fifth Summit of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC.)

    Cuban President Raul Castro talked about his government's willingness to continue bilateral negotiations with the new U.S. administration, without making concessions to its sovereignty, on Wednesday.

    "Cuba and the United States can cooperate and coexist civilly," said Castro in a speech at the Fifth Summit of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) which concludes Wednesday in the Dominican resort of Bavaro States.

    He ratified his willingness to advance in the negotiation of bilateral issues with the Trump government, "but we should not expect Cuba to make concessions inherent in its sovereignty and independence."

    Trump, who swore in as White House chief on Jan. 20, has criticized his predecessor Barack Obama for taking conciliatory action with Cuba and restoring diplomatic relations.

    President Trump has not specified what his policy towards the island will be.

    Castro stressed that the trade embargo that still maintains the United States against Cuba "causes considerable hardship and human damage that seriously injures our economy and hinders development."

    The leaders attending the fifth CELAC summit will sign resolutions to reject the trade embargo against Cuba and demand that the United States return Guantanamo Bay to the island.