Photo: Raul Castro, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter
A news source has reported that Cuban President Raul Castro told former U.S. President Jimmy Carter that the country is willing to open up a dialogue with the U.S.
Wednesday, the Cuban News Agency (CBA) reported that during their meeting this week, Castro and Carter discussed a number of things including the long-standing embargo between Cuba and the U.S.
Carter arrived in Cuba on Monday for a three-day visit. He is the most important political figure to have visited Cuba since the economic embargo was put in place almost 50 years ago, but he reiterates that he is not in the country on behalf of any government.
In 1982, Carter and his wife, Rosalynn created the Carter Centre Foundation to work as a humanitarian organization to be mediators of international conflicts and observers in electoral processes in other countries.
During their meeting, President Castro once again stated his willingness to engage in a dialogue with the U.S. government on equal terms. He said he is willing to have discussions as long as the island nation’s sovereignty and independence is respected.
Former President Carter had hoped to negotiate the release of U.S. contractor Alan Gross who is currently serving a 15-year jail term after being convicted of “acts against the independence or territorial integrity” of Cuba for allegedly providing illegal internet access to Cuban dissidents, but was unable to do so.