NYT editorial reflects 'difficult situation' for US: Castro

Updated: 2014-10-15 09:23


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HAVANA - A recent New York Times editorial urging the United States to end its embargo of more than 50 years against Cuba is a reflection of the "difficult situation" the North American country now faces, said former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

In an article published Tuesday by state daily Granma, Castro cited the Times editorial, titled "Obama Should End the Embargo on Cuba," noting "it seeks the greatest benefit for US politics in a difficult situation, when its political, economic, financial and trade problems are growing".

Those problems are compounded by still others, including "the effects of accelerated climate change, competition in trade, and the speed, precision and destructive power of weapons that threaten the survival of humanity", said Castro.

"In addition to that, in a few days, the world community at the United Nations will declare whether it agrees or not with the embargo against Cuba," said Castro, referring to an upcoming vote at the UN General Assembly on the resolution.

Last year's vote left the United States isolated and embarrassed, after only the US and its ally Israel voted in favor of the embargo, and the rest of UN member nations voted against it.

The Times piece, written by the paper's editorial board, recommended the US administration to end the "senseless embargo", arguing that its extension will only serve to harm US business interests.

"Failing to engage with Cuba now will likely cede this (telecommunications) market to competitors," the Times editorial warned, noting "the presidents of China and Russia traveled to Cuba in separate visits in July, and both leaders pledged to expand ties".

The Times editorial also mentioned next year's summit of the Organization of American States (OAS), saying the group's majority Latin American leaders insist on inviting Cuba to the gathering, counter to Washington's wishes.

The Obama administration is "leery" of Cuba's presence at the meeting and President Barack Obama has not committed to attending, the Times editorial pointed out. "He must -- and he should see it as an opportunity to make history."