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Cubaverdad on Twitter

CUBA STANDARD — Ending half a year of rhetorical restraint since the election of Donald J. Trump, Cuba fired back at a White House statement that seems to describe the Cuban political system as “cruel despotism.”

As his administration has yet to announce the results of its “bottom-up review” of U.S. Cuba policy, President Trump issued a statement on May 20, the day exiles celebrate as Cuba’s independence day, that national hero José Martí “reminds us that cruel despotism cannot extinguish the flame of freedom in the hearts of Cubans”.

“The Cuban people deserve a government that peacefully upholds democratic values, economic liberties, religious freedoms and human rights, and my Administration is committed to achieving that vision,” the statement said.

In a broadcast on Cuban state TV, Raúl Castro shot back, calling Trump “ill-advised”.

Dropping all the restraint Cuban officials have displayed regarding Trump, Castro said the statement expressed “the contradictory and clumsy pronouncements of the millionaire magnate-turned-president on issues of both foreign and domestic policy.”

The same day, Trump told his Saudi hosts during a visit in Ryadh that “we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship.”

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