CUBA’S former leader Raul Castro urged his fellow citizens to prepare for all scenarios to defend their country’s independence as he accused the US of returning to a policy of confrontation after the distention lived during the Obama administration.
Mr Castro, head of the Cuban Communist Party, delivered a speech during the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the revolution led by his late brother Fidel, who in 1959 toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista. Saying the revolution “had not aged”, Mr Castro pointed out the relationship between Washington and Havana had plunged again into confrontation. Wearing his signature military uniform and speaking near his brother’s tomb, he said: "Once again, the US government seems to be on the road to confronting Cuba and presenting our peaceful and inclusive country as a threat to the region.
"Once again, they want to make Cuba guilty of all the evils of the region.”
Mr Castro launched a scathing attack against what he branded the “far-right” in Florida, saying it has "confiscated US policy towards Cuba".
Mr Castro continued: "I reiterate our willingness to coexist in a civilised way despite our differences, in a relationship of peace, respect and mutual benefit with the United States."
Former US President Barack Obama opened up to Cuba during his two terms in Washington.
In 2015, Mr Castro and Mr Obama made history, meeting for the first face-to-face discussion between leaders of the two countries in more than 50 years.
The pair had a “candid and fruitful” discussion, according to Mr Obama, which paved the way to the softening of travel restrictions, the restoration of diplomatic relations and the reopening of the countries’ embassies in Havana and Washington.
But six months into his mandate, in June 2017, Donald Trump decided to tighten again rules on travel, citing human right concerns and saying striking a deal with Havana was “terrible” and “misguided”.