Mariela Castro hopes Cuban-U.S. relations can normalize in Obama second term
By BYRON TAU |
6/2/12 2:19 PM EDT
Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban head of state Raul Castro, said that she hoped Cuban-U.S. relations could normalize if President Obama wins a second term.
In a forthcoming interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour shared with POLITCO, Castro was asked about the possibilities for political reconciliation between the two Cold War adversaries in a possible Obama second term.
“I believe that Obama is a fair man and Obama needs greater support to be able to take this decision. If Obama counted on the full support of the American people, then we can normalize the relationships; we can have better relations than what we had under President Carter,” Castro said.
Obama relaxed some of the rules governing travel and remittances to Cuba in 2009 but the sanctions regime put into place after Castro’s 1959 Communist takeover has largely kept American visitors and businesses off the island.
Castro also told Amanpour that she supports a second Obama term, given the field.
“As a citizen of the world, I would like him to win,” Castro said. “Seeing the candidates, I prefer Obama.”
The State Departmet recently issued Castro a visa to attend a conference in San Francisco — prompting outrage from conservatives who accused the Obama administration of going soft on a regime that abused human rights. Obama supporters, however, noted that the George W. Bush administration also granted Castro several visas to visit.
The issue of Cuban sanctions and the Castro family has some resonance in the heavily conservative anti-Castro Cuban exile community — mostly based in the battleground state of Florida.