Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, known for his anti-American rhetoric, congratulated Cuba’s President Raul Castro on steps toward restoring bilateral relations with the United States.
This is “a very important step for the United States to realize that here, in our land [Latin America], the times are changing,” Notimex news agency quoted Maduro as saying Friday.
Nevertheless, according to Maduro, there is still a long way for Washington to realize that Latin America is no longer the United States’ “backyard.”
During the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the island’s new authorities, led by Fidel Castro, started to nationalize the US corporations’ property, which led to the deterioration of relations between the two countries and subsequent ban on trade and travel to and from Cuba, introduced by the United States.
On December 17, the White House announced that the decades-long US policy to isolate Cuba was of little effect and would be reviewed, including by re-establishing diplomatic ties.
On December 20, Cuban President Raul Castro said Cuba would not give up its own political ideas, but was ready to engage in mutually respectful dialogue with the United States.