Cuba: Obama can visit if he doesn’t interfere

Cuba: Obama can visit if he doesn’t interfere
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A Cuban government official said late Wednesday that President Obama would only be greeted with open arms if he does not interfere in the Communist nation’s policies.

“The day that the president of the United States decides to visit Cuba, he will be welcome,” said Josefina Vidal, director of U.S. affairs in the Cuban foreign ministry, according to Reuters.

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“Regarding what I just said, I’d like to recall that Cuba has always said … it is not going to negotiate matters that are inherent to its internal system in exchange for an improvement in or the normalization of relations with the United States,” Vidal added.

Vidal’s remarks follow Obama’s comments earlier this week that he hopes he can visit Cuba before leaving office in 2016.

“If I go on a visit, then part of the deal is I get to talk to everybody,” he told Yahoo News last Monday.

“I’ve made very clear in my conversations with President [Raúl] Castro that we would continue to reach out to those who want to broaden the scope for, you know, free expression inside of Cuba,” Obama continued.

“Now would be a good time to shine a light on progress that’s been made, but also maybe [go] there to nudge the Cuban government in a new direction.”

Obama added that he is making a final decision on a trip to the island nation “over the next several months.”

Reports emerged earlier Wednesday that American and Cuban officials had agreed on conditions for reinstating commercial air travel between the two nations.

Negotiators in Washington, D.C., said they have an informal outline and plan on finalizing a lasting deal within hours or days.

Cuba and the U.S. are still improving the diplomatic thaw between the two former Cold War rivals that occurred earlier this year.

Obama eased economic and travel restrictions against Havana in exchange for normalized relations with the U.S. neighbor.