HAVANA — A top Cuban diplomat on Wednesday rejected Donald Trump’s threat to undo detente with Cuba unless the single-party government meets the Republican presidential candidate’s demands.
Trump said in Miami this month that he would reverse President Barack Obama’s executive orders loosening the U.S. trade embargo on the island unless Cuba meets demands including “religious and political freedom for the Cuban people and the freeing of political prisoners.”
Gustavo Machin, Cuba’s deputy director of U.S. affairs, said Cuba would never be pressured into making internal reforms, and called on the next U.S. president to respect Cuba’s right to self-determination.
“Cuba has always made clear that Cuba’s internal matters aren’t on the negotiating table,” Machin told reporters. “They’re a function of internal decisions by Cuba and the Cuban people and we really call on the next president of the United States to stick to those principles. They’re not Cuba’s principles; they’re principles of international law.”
Machin also urged Obama to issue a final round of orders loosening the embargo before the fifth and last major round of negotiations at the end of this year. The fourth round will take place Friday in Washington. Machin praised Obama’s nomination of Jeffry DeLaurentis, the charge d’affaires