Fidel Castro says he doesn't 'trust' US, but offers support for talks

Fidel Castro says he doesn't 'trust' US, but offers support for talks
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Former Cuban President Fidel Castro on Monday said he did not "trust the U.S." but appeared to offer cautious support for diplomatic talks between the two countries.

"I don't trust the policy of the United States nor have I had an exchange with them, but this does not mean ... a rejection of a peaceful solution to conflicts or the dangers of war," said Castro in a statement published on the website of Granma, a state-controlled paper, according to reports.

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"Any peaceful or negotiated solution to the problems between the United States and the peoples or any people of Latin America that doesn't imply force or the use of force should be treated in accordance with international norms and principles," he added.

"We will always defend cooperation and friendship with all the peoples of the world, among them our political adversaries."

Castro's remarks are his first public comments on plans to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba, two Cold War foes, announced last month by President Obama and Castro's brother, Cuban President Raul Castro.

The move sparked controversy, with Republican lawmakers saying the Obama administration would only help prop up the Castro regime.

Earlier this month, the administration took steps to ease trade and travel restrictions with Cuba. And officials from the two countries had their highest-level talks in years.

Obama defended his actions in his State of the Union address last week, where he urged Congress to take action to lift the decades-long embargo on Cuba.

He said the embargo was "long past its expiration date."

Polls show that a majority of Americans back normalizing relations and lifting the trade embargo on Cuba.