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Cuba: No Normalization Without Lifting Of Embargo

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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) -- President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro met Tuesday face to face to talk about relations between the two nations.

"The meeting took place in a respectful and constructive climate," said Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla who gave a summary on the meeting. "They agreed they need to work on the agenda that both countries will be discussing in the next few months towards the normalization of relations."

The foreign minister reiterated what needs to get this done.

"The Cuban president reiterated for Cuba and the United States to be able to have normalized relations, the blockade or embargo that has caused damages and hardships to the Cuban people and affects the interests of American citizens must be lifted and the territory occupied by the US naval base in Guantanamo should be returned to Cuba," he said.

While the normalization process continues, he said the pace of it will highly depend on one thing.

"The blockade still persists. The pace of the process towards normalization will depend on the lifting of the blockade," said Rodríguez Parrilla. "There will be no normalization without the lifting of the blockade."

Meantime, the Cuban delegation will continue to push for the lifting of the embargo, presenting a resolution to address the matter at the United Nations on October 27th.

"I can't imagine how the U.S. delegation will vote on the blockade lifting," said Rodríguez Parrilla. "I will be waiting for October 27th to see what happens."

Despite their differences, the minister said they have found common ground when it comes to fighting drug trafficking, terrorism and promoting public health among other things.

President Obama and Castro also agreed with Pope Francis' call to unite, during his visit in the United States last week.

All this happened just a day after the two addressed world leaders at the United Nations in New York.

Click here to read more about U.S.-Cuba Relations.


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