Cuba Live-Tweets Castro’s Speech to Parliament
July 16, 2015 By Staff
Top Story — Cuban President Raul Castro said Wednesday, in a speech shared live over newly created state social media accounts, that Cuba is prepared to enter a new stage of peaceful coexistence with the United States, adding that fully normalized relations would be impossible as long as the U.S. economic embargo remains in place.
Castro’s speech comes as the United States and Cuba set to reopen embassies in each other’s countries on July 20, and was his first public address since the plan to open embassies was announced in June.
The speech was later broadcast on Cuban state television, and more surprisingly was live-tweeted through the National Assembly’s account and shared on their Facebook page. While the tweets and Facebook updates were limited to snippets of announcements, it was an new move for a country where social media is slowly gaining popularity but price and availability remain large obstacles to internet access.
During his speech Castro emphasized his hope that U.S. President Barack Obama would continue to use his executive powers to dismantle the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, which many Republicans in the U.S. Congress have vowed to block along with other key aspects needed for normalized relations.
Beyond the economic embargo, Castro demanded the United States provide compensation for the continued economic damage from the embargo, discontinue programs that promote “subversion” on the island and return the Guantanamo military base to Cuba.
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