We may have been wrong in not engaging with the US,' says Castro

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Caracas (Venezuela), Apr.18 (ANI): Raul Castro, the brother of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and de facto leader of the island nation 90 miles south of Florida, has admitted that his country may have been wrong in not engaging with the United States.

Speaking at a meeting of leftist leaders heading to the 34-nation summit here eager to represent Cuba's interests. He said his country's previous refusal to engage the U.S. earlier might have been a mistake."We could be wrong, we admit it. We're human beings. We're willing to sit down to talk as it should be done, whenever." Fox News quoted Castro as saying.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton embraced Castro's overture.

"We are taking a very serious look at how we intend to respond," Clinton said.

The only condition Castro set for the talks with Washington was for the White House to respect "the Cuban people's right to self-determination."

In Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, President Obama on Friday embraced new calls from Cuba's communist government to engage in talks-- as well as the possibility that the country could lift press restrictions and free political prisoners as part of those talks.

At the Fifth Summit of the Americas, Obama repeated the kind of remarks toward the Castro regime that marked his campaign for the presidency.

"The United States seeks a new beginning with Cuba. I know there is a longer journey that must be travelled in overcoming decades of mistrust, but there are critical steps we can take toward a new day," Obama said.

Obama noted in his speech at the summit's opening ceremonies that his administration will allow Cuban Americans to visit the island and send money to families back there.

"The United States has changed over time. It has not always been easy, but it has changed. And so I think it's important to remind my fellow leaders that it's not just the United States that has to change. All of us have responsibilities to look towards the future," Obama said.(ANI)

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