Abel Prieto Demands End Of Radio Marti To Normalize Relations With The US

Abel Prieto.
Abel Prieto.

12 de junio 2015 - 20:25

Havana/The adviser to Cuban President Raul Castro and former Minister of Culture Abel Prieto believes that the restoration of diplomatic relations with the US does not yet mean “normalization” because to get to that point, “They must lift the blockade which they call an ‘embargo.’”

In an interview with EFE Prieto affirmed that the normalization should also include “return of the occupied Guantanamo Base,” and compensation to the Cuban people for the “terrible suffering” and for the “difficulties and limitations.”

For the former minister (who served during the years 1997-2012) the base of conversations with the United States should be “equality” and argues that “no one should wait on us to cede a single one of our principles.”

“We demand respect for our system,” and because of this he thinks that the process will be “long and difficult.”

The Castro advisor considers that an essential point is to eliminate the “illegal transmissions” of Radio and Television Martí (broadcasts financed by the United States to promote freedom and democracy in Cuba), if they want to talk about this “normalization” of relations between the United States and Cuba.

Asked whether Cuba would change its principles with regards to international politics, Prieto responded, “No,” and asserted that he considers Venezuela a “friend,” and expressed himself “against any interference in any of the internal affairs of Venezuela.”

“I think that this is an operation to discredit the government of President Nicolas Maduro; it is an economic war and a flow of false accusations,” he said.

According to Abel Prieto, Venezuela, “Will always count on the solidarity of Cuba, that is very clear, very firm and the opinion is not going to change.”

While visiting Madrid, the former minister participated in a colloquium with the Cuban ambassador in Spain, where he defended the democratization of culture and a Latin American and Caribbean focus in this.

Prieto, who affirmed he intends to die “without listening to Justin Bieber,” recognizes that after the new relations with the United States, “we have to confront the symbolic war and do it in the open, without prohibiting anything.”

The idea that Cuba fears the Internet is “indefensible,” according to Prieto, a supporter of “democratizing rules that must be based on the Internet.”

With regards to the Internet and the importance of social networks in his country, which is among the countries in the world with the lowest Internet penetration, Prieto said that in Cuba the Internet has “a lot of weight,” although he recognizes that connectivity is “very slow.”

The former minister says that Cuban society will be computerized, “To give free and open access to the Internet, and not to those who have money, but to those who need it to support their studies and research.”

Prieto considers the Internet an important way of “Exchanging cultural messages and collective creation,” and he says it is a part of the project of making Socialism “prosperous and sustainable” launched by the government of Raul Castro.

The idea that Cuba fears the Internet is “indefensible,” according to Prieto, a supporter of “democratizing rules that must be based on the Internet.”

“Cuba itself will oppose the attempts to create division and to destabilize the government, we are not going to accept that the false opposition uses social media to discredit us because this is part of sovereignty.”

He advocates for a “decolonized and emancipated” use of the Internet, and refers to the governance of the network, which according to him is controlled “by the United States government and a few corporations based in the United States.”

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