US says Fidel Castro's remarks ‘positive sign’ for relations

WASHINGTON - The U.S. on Tuesday welcomed Fidel Castro’s comments about attempts by Washington and Havana to normalize relations between the longtime foes.

“We take his reference of international norms and principles as a positive sign and look forward to the Cuban government implementing those international norms and principles for a democratic, prosperous and stable Cuba,” said State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

“Our negotiations and the process moving forward with the Cuban government. There's a lot of work that needs to be done,” she added.

The iconic former Cuban leader, who handed over power to his younger brother Raul in 2006, broke his silence Monday and voiced support for developments between the U.S, and Cuba by praising the normalization process between the two countries.

But the older Castro cautioned that despite being positive, “I don't trust the policy of the United States, nor have I exchanged a word with them.” His remarks were published in the Spanish language newspaper Granma.

Asked about Castro’s trust problem, Psaki said “it's not about trust; it's about what's in the interest of the people of Cuba, what's in the interest of our own national security interest, our economic interest, and that's why we're pursuing”

She acknowledged a lack of trust on both sides and that both countries are working to build a trust “but there are diplomatic reasons and strategic reasons to pursue a different path forward,” she said.

The U.S. and Cuba recently ended decades of mutual hostilities and have taken steps to re-establish diplomatic relations.

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