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Jimmy Carter's Havana Press Conference: Transcript

Apr. 1, 2011
Reprinted from Granma International

“I believe that the detention of the Cuban Five makes no sense, there have been doubts expressed in U.S. courts and by human rights organizations around the world. They have now been in prison 12 years and I hope that in the near future they will be freed to return to their homes." - Jimmy Carter

James Carter: First of all, allow me to express my gratitude for the opportunity to return to Cuba.

When I was President I did all I could to improve diplomatic relations between my country and Cuba. I eliminated all travel restrictions so that the Americans could travel here and Fidel Castro and I worked together to establish interest sections in Washington and Havana, which continue to allow for some kind of communication between our two countries.

I believe we should immediately eliminate the trade embargo that the United States has imposed on the people of Cuba and also allow travel without any kind of restriction from the U.S. to Cuba and vice-versa, so I think it’s important that I’ve come. On this occasion, I wanted to learn from the Cuban government’s principal officials about the coming Party Congress, which will take place mid-April and I have received information from the President of the National Assembly, President Raúl Castro and former President Comandante Fidel Castro and other leaders of the Cuban government about plans for the future.

Cuban officials are very proud of the fact that they have received good comments from the people of Cuba and many suggestions have been incorporated, as I understand, into the text which will be discussed during their Congress.

I hope that in the future this will be added to those documents and that there will be complete freedom so all Cubans can express themselves, gather and travel, according to the international human rights norms which are applied in Cuba.

In addition to meeting with President Raúl Castro for a very extensive conversation and this morning with Fidel Castro, who appears to be in good health and we welcomed each other like old friends, I met this morning with some of the groups which criticize the Cuban government and, I hope that in the future some of their complaints will be addressed by the government.

I met with about 12 prisoners who were freed on orders from President Raúl Castro and sponsored by the Cardinal. Evidently they want to meet with others who have returned from Spain or other places. I met and talked with President Raúl Castro and I will do so again after this conference.

It is also important to me that the relations between our two countries improve.

I believe that the detention of the Cuban Five makes no sense, there have been doubts expressed in U.S. courts and by human rights organizations around the world. They have now been in prison 12 years and I hope that in the near future they will be freed to return to their homes.

I meet with two of the prisoners’ mothers and three prisoners’ wives and expressed my feelings to them, that I hope that in the future they will be freed, according to U.S. law.

Also this morning, I was able to meet with Alan Gross, a man who I think is not guilty of being a serious threat to the people or government of Cuba. He has been given a long prison sentence and I hope he will be freed soon as well.

So, there are many things that can be done between our two countries to improve relations and come to have normal relations in as many ways as possible.

I will repeat my thanks to President Raúl Castro and other Cuban officials for having allowed me to come and converse with them and I hope, for the future of Cuba, that all Cubans will be completely free and all Americans free to travel where they choose, you know that many of us cannot travel freely to Cuba and these restrictions in our country must be eliminated.

These are my initial comments and now I would be happy to answer two or here questions from the media. If there are no questions, we’re done.

Andrea Rodríguez (AP): Sir, you mentioned that you had visited Mr. Gross. I would like to know if you have any idea when he might be released, if you, even, might be taking him home, one way or another. What possibility is there that an exchange of this person for the five agents detained in the United States. Have you received any indication from President Raúl Castro leading in this direction? Thank you.

James Carter: I didn’t come here with the idea of arranging any swap. I think the two cases, that of Gross and that of the Five, are separate, different and shouldn’t be interrelated. I think Alan Gross should be free because he is not guilty of a serious crime and I think the five Cubans should be freed because they have already been in prison for 12 years and the original circumstances around their original trial are considered questionable, even by the judges and the U.S. judicial system. Therefore, I didn’t come with that objective.

I had a very good meeting this morning with Alan Gross, obviously he professes his innocence as he did during his trial. There will be an appeal by his lawyers to higher level courts in Cuba. I hope these higher level courts will declare him innocent of the crimes for which he is being punished , and if that isn’t the case, that then, possibly in the future, an executive order will be released conceding him a pardon or releasing him for humanitarian reasons. His daughter is very sick, he has lost other members of his family; he had lost 40 kilos of his own weight, but he appears to be in good spirits and asserts his innocence. I didn’t come with the expectation of taking him home. In fact, Cuban officials made it very clear, before I left my home, that the freedom of Alan Gross would not be granted.

Fernando González (Associated Press Television): I understand that you did not come on an official or governmental visit but I would like to know if you plan on meeting with the Obama administration and, if you do, what will you say to him.

James Carter: Well, before leaving I had spoken at some length with the National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Clinton about the situation that exists between our two countries. As I have always done, before any trip abroad, before leaving, I go to the White House and give a complete report about the trip to the President of the United States and the Secretary of State. This will be done within a day or two after my return to the U.S. and I will express the same opinions which I have shared with you in this conference, along with other more confidential issues which I must share in person with American officials.

Journalist: On the basis of your talks in Washington before this trip and your talks here with President Raúl Castro, what steps do you think should be taken, what should each country do to improve relations?

I should like to see another step taken in current legislation to eliminate the restraints on travel for U.S. citizens; I should like all restrictions removed on the normal transfer of humanitarian funds to Cuba.

I met with a large number of ambassadors located here in Havana and United Nations representatives and they said that in the last two years it has been very difficult for them to depend on normal channels for humanitarian aid to the Cuban people, because the Americans are restricting transfers. European Union leaders, the ambassador of Brazil and others in the group have said the same thing to me. This is something that could be done immediately by the President of the United States in relation to the existing legislation.

I understand from the Foreign Minister of Cuba and also from all the ambassadors that these restrictions on the normal transfer of humanitarian funds into the banking system have been very restricting in the past two years. Since President Obama has been in his position I have shared that information with him.

I hope, in relation to other possibilities, as I have already stated, well, that Mr. Gross is released and that the five Cubans return to Cuba.

In addition to those aspects, I personally would like the Helms-Burton Act to be completely abolished. I believe it was a serious mistake when it was approved and signed by President Clinton.

Any efforts on the part of the United States to improve the lives of the Cuban people with financial aid or by other means is suspicious or illegal according to the Helms-Burton Act, because that Act, as you know, has the express objective of doing away with the Castro regime, of changing the regime. Therefore, this Act – in my opinion – is counterproductive. It didn’t exist when I was president, and I could basically do what I liked with restrictions on travel and the establishment of relations, et cetera.

These are some of the things that are evident to everyone, and Congressional leaders of Cuban origin are acting in a very counterproductive way, trying to blame or punish the Cuban regime, when in real terms they are punishing the Cuban people with their restrictions.

Journalist: Mr. Carter, you are one of the few people, one of the few political figures who has the respect of both sides, would you accept a mediatory role between the two countries?

James Carter: It is extremely unlikely, or possible, that both countries should solicit my services; I would be pleased to help, but I believe that that is extremely unlikely.

Journalist: Mr. President Carter, when you were president you were not in agreement with the activities of violent exiles against Cuba. Do you have an opinion on taking Cuba off the list of terrorist countries?

James Carter: Yes I believe that Cuba should be taken off the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. As you possibly know – I don’t know if you know – I understand that there has been very close cooperation between Cuban and American intelligence services in confronting the threats of Al Qaeda and other organizations in the Gulf region.

The only American allegations in terms of terrorism against the Cuban government are related to some of the groups in Colombia, the FARC and ETA in Spain.

When I met with the ambassadors of Spain and Colombia yesterday morning, they told me that they had absolutely no objection, that they thought that the capacity of members of ETA and FARC in Colombia to come to Cuba was something very positive for them, because it gave them an opportunity to communicate in a friendly way in Cuba with people who were causing problems in their own countries. And so the American allegations, the affirmation of terrorism, is a premise which is completely unfounded, and that is another aspect that the President of the United States could address; in other words, eliminate the statement that Cuba is sponsoring terrorism, because it is evidently untrue.

I can take one more question.

Michael Boston (BBC): You have met with President Raúl Castro and former President Fidel Castro. You have talked about your desire to see freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right of Cubans to travel abroad; you have also talked about the economic changes which are to be discussed at the Congress. Have you had any indications of any political change to be discussed?

James Carter: Not at all.

Well, I would say that both the leaders who you mentioned and the authorities are familiar with my own opinions on the freedom of travel, of assembly and of expression in Cuba – when I was here nine years ago I addressed the Cuban people on television, on radio, and my words were presented in Granma exactly as I said them, expressing these desires and these recommendations to the Cubans – they know my beliefs that there should be changes, and I repeated them in the press conference.

I am not familiar with the details or aspects of the text that is now being discussed for the Party Congress. They have told me that approximately eight million Cubans participated, giving their opinions. The Minister of Foreign Affairs told me that thousands of amendments to the original text were proposed. It is also being said that more than 65% of the paragraphs have been modified on the basis of the proposals; but I am not familiar with the details.

However, the dissident groups said this morning that many of them have abstained from expressing their concerns about personal freedoms, because they do not want to be associated with the proceedings, because they are not in agreement with its integrity.

Other groups with whom I met this morning have expressed their concern that standard international freedom must be promoted. So I am not familiar with what they are intending to do.

Thank you all very much indeed.

Jimmy Carter's Havana Press Conference

Mar. 30, 2011
Reprinted from Daily Granma

“I believe that there is no reason to keep the Cuban Five imprisoned, there were doubts in the U.S. courts and also among human rights organizations in the world. Now, they have been in prison 12 years and I hope that in the near future they will be released to return home." - Jimmy Carter

Before concluding his three-day visit to Cuba, Jimmy Carter gave a press conference about his agenda on the island, this is a synopsis:

In his introductory statement he said that when he was in office he did all possible efforts to improve diplomatic links between the United States and Cuba. He said he lifted all Cuba-travel restrictions for US citizens and along with Fidel Castro he worked on the setting up of interest sections both in Washington and Havana.

Carter said the US commercial "embargo" on Cuba should be lifted immediately as well as the limitations on US citizens to travel to Cuba and vice versa. He said he wanted to learn about the upcoming Communist Party Congress, to be held in April and that he has been given information on the future plans for Cuba.

He told the reporters that he had met with President Raul Castro and with Fidel Castro, whom he saw enjoying good health; he also met with some groups that criticize the Cuban governme'snt and he added he hoped that some of their complaints will receive a response from the Cuban authorities in the future.

As to the case of the five Cubans incarcerated in the United States since 1998, the former US president said that their imprisonment make no sense since American courts have shared doubts about it, as have human rights organizations around the world. They have been in jail for 12 years now, he said and added he hoped that they can be released in the near future. Carter also met with two of the mothers and three of the wives of those Cubans imprisoned in the U.S.

He explained that on Wednesday morning he was able to meet with Alan Gross, a man he thinks is innocent of posing a serious threat to the Cuban people and government and that Gross was sentenced to a long prison term. He said he hoped he will soon be released too.

Carter stressed that there are many things both countries can do to improve relations and have normal links in all possible ways. And he reiterated his gratitude to Raul Castro and other government officials for having allowed him to visit and talk with them.

During the Q/A Session Carter replied to an AP question about the possibility that he could take Alan Gross back to the U.S. with him and if he considered that an exchange of Gross for the five Cuban was possible. In this regard, Carter said he had not traveled to Cuba to coordinate any kind of exchange and that the cases of Gross and the Five are different and must not be related. He considered that Gross should be released because he is innocent of a serious crime—Carter explained—and that the five Cubans should also be freed because they have already been 12 years in prison and there were many doubts about the whole legal process. In the case of Gross, Carter said an appeal would follow or a possible executive order could be given in the future to release him on humanitarian grounds. His daughter is very sick, while he has lost other family members, said Carter. But he did not expect to take Gross back home with him he said and recalled that Cuban officials had made it clear before he left the United States that Gross would not be released.

Responding to a question by Associated Press Television about a meeting with Obama after this trip to Cuba, Jimmy Carter explained that he will do so to express the opinions he gave to the press and about other confidential issues.

Referring to what each country could do to improve relations, Carter said he wished that US travel restrictions to Cuba be lifted as well as limitations on the transfer of humanitarian funds to Cuba. He recalled some meetings with members of the diplomatic community in Havana who said they have found it quite difficult, over the past two years, to bring humanitarian aid to the Cuban people through normal channels because the United States limits the transfers. This was also corroborated by European Union leaders, and this lifting of restrictions could be done immediately by the President of the United States, Carter noted.

He also said he personally wished to see the complete abolishment of the Helms-Burton Law because in his opinion the approval and signing of it by former President Bill Clinton was a serious mistake.

As to other actions, Carter hopes that Mr. Gross be released and that the five Cubans return home.

Any effort on the part of the United States aimed at improving the life of the Cuban people based on financial assistance or other means is a suspicious act, according to the Helms-Burton law, because the legislation is aimed at putting an end to the "Castro regime". In his opinion that law is counterproductive because when he was president he could do anything he wanted with respect to the travel restrictions and the reestablishment of relations.

As to the congress people of Cuban descent he said they are acting in a very counterproductive manner by trying to blame or punish the Cuban government, when in fact they are punishing the people of Cuba by backing these restrictions.

To the question that if he would agree to be a mediator between the two countries, Carter replied that there is little chance that he would be asked to take part in that kind of service, though he would be happy to help.

Carter also told reporters that he believed Cuba should be taken off of the US list of countries sponsoring terrorism. He said he has learned about a close cooperation between Cuban and US intelligence services to fight threats by Al Qaida and other organizations in the gulf region. The only allegations made by the United States against the Cuban government are related to some groups in Colombia like the FARC, and ETA from Spain. But such allegations about Cuba sponsoring terrorism have no grounds so the US President should take Cuba out of the list.

And responding to BBC if he tackled issues like the freedom of expression, the freedom to travel, the economic changes to be analyzed by the upcoming Communist Party Congress, during his meetings with Raul Castro and leader Fidel Castro, Jimmy Carter recalled that when he visited Cuba nine years ago he addressed the people on TV and on the radio and that the Granma newspaper published his statements just as he made them, which expressed his wish about those topics and carried his recommendations.

He said that although he was not very familiar with the details or aspects of the text to be analyzed by the Communist Party Congress, he was informed that some 8 million Cubans gave their opinions on the document. Carter added that the Cuban foreign minister told him that thousands of amendments were proposed to the text and that over 65 percent of the paragraphs had been modified on the basis of such proposals.

Finally, Carter said that the members of "dissident groups" he met in the morning told him that many of them had abstained from expressing any requests on personal liberties, because they did not want to be linked to the procedure, since they are in disagreement with its integrity.

While others did express their requests, though he said he was not familiarized with the document or with what is trying to be achieved.



Conferencia de prensa ofrecida en La Habana por James Carter, expresidente de EE.UU

30 de marzo de 2011
Tomado de Granma Diario

James Carter: Permítanme decir, primeramente, que agradezco la oportunidad de regresar a Cuba.

Cuando era presidente hice todo lo posible para mejorar las relaciones diplomáticas entre mi país y Cuba. Eliminé todas las restricciones de viajes para que los estadounidenses viajaran acá, y Fidel Castro y yo trabajamos juntos para establecer Secciones de Intereses en Washington y en La Habana, que continúan brindando comunicación de algún tipo entre nuestros dos países.

Considero que deberíamos eliminar inmediatamente el embargo comercial que Estados Unidos ha impuesto al pueblo de Cuba y también que deberíamos tener viajes sin ningún tipo de límites de los estadounidenses hacia Cuba y viceversa, así que creo que es importante que haya venido. En esta ocasión, quería aprender de los principales funcionarios del gobierno cubano sobre el venidero Congreso del Partido, que se realizará a mediados de abril, y he recibido información por parte del Presidente de la Asamblea Nacional, el Presidente Raúl Castro y el expresidente y Comandante Fidel Castro y otros dirigentes del gobierno cubano sobre los planes para el futuro.

Los funcionarios cubanos están muy orgullosos del hecho de que han tenido buenos comentarios del pueblo de Cuba, y muchas sugerencias han sido incorporadas, según tengo entendido, al texto que se analizará durante su Congreso.

Yo espero que en el futuro esto se añada a esos documentos y que haya una completa libertad para que todos los cubanos puedan expresarse, reunirse y viajen, según las normas internacionales de los derechos humanos que se apliquen en Cuba.

Además de reunirme con el presidente Raúl Castro, en una conversación muy extensa, y de reunirme esta mañana con Fidel Castro, que parece estar en buena salud, y nos vimos como viejos amigos, me reuní esta mañana con algunos de los grupos que critican al gobierno cubano, y espero, en gran medida, que en el futuro algunas de sus quejas reciban una respuesta por parte del gobierno.

Me reuní con alrededor de 12 de los prisioneros que fueron liberados por orden del presidente Raúl Castro y con el auspicio del Cardenal. Evidentemente, ellos quisieran ver a otros que regresen desde España o a otros lugares. Me reuní y discutí con el presidente Raúl Castro y lo haré nuevamente tras esta sesión.

Para mí es importante también que las relaciones entre nuestros dos países mejoren.

Creo que la retención de los cinco cubanos no tiene sentido, ha habido dudas en los tribunales estadounidenses y también entre las organizaciones de derechos humanos en el mundo. Ahora, ellos han estado en prisión 12 años y yo espero que en el futuro cercano sean liberados para que regresen a sus hogares.

Me reuní con dos de las madres de los prisioneros y tres de las esposas de los prisioneros y expresé mis sentimientos a ellas, y espero que en el futuro sean liberados, según el derecho estadounidense.

También esta mañana pude reunirme con Alan Gross, un hombre que pienso es inocente de ser una amenaza seria para el pueblo y el gobierno cubanos; ha sido sentenciado a una larga sentencia en prisión, y espero que él también pronto sea liberado.

O sea, hay muchas cosas que pueden hacerse entre nuestros dos países para mejorar las relaciones y llegar a relaciones normales en todas las formas posibles.

Repetiré mi expresión de gratitud hacia el presidente Raúl Castro y a otros funcionarios cubanos, por permitirme venir y tener conversaciones con ellos, y espero, para el futuro de Cuba, que todos los cubanos sean completamente libres y que todos los estadounidenses sean libres para viajar adonde quieran; ahora ustedes saben que muchos de nosotros no podemos viajar libremente a Cuba y estas limitaciones en nuestro país deben ser eliminadas.

Estos son mis comentarios iniciales y ahora me complacería responder dos o tres preguntas de los medios de difusión.

Si no hay ninguna pregunta, terminamos.

Andrea Rodríguez (AP): Señor, usted mencionó que había visitado al señor Gross. Quisiera saber si usted tiene alguna idea de cuándo sería liberado, si usted, incluso, se lo llevaría a casa, por un lado, y por otro lado, ¿qué posibilidades hay de un canje entre esta persona y los Cinco agentes detenidos en Estados Unidos? ¿Y ha tenido alguna indicación del presidente Raúl Castro en esta dirección? Gracias.

James Carter: No vine aquí con la idea de coordinar ningún tipo de intercambio. Creo que los dos casos, el de Gross y el de los Cinco, son separados, distintos y no deben interrelacionarse. Creo que Alan Gross debe ser liberado porque es inocente de un delito serio y creo que los cinco cubanos deben ser liberados porque han estado 12 años en prisión ya y las circunstancias originales de sus juicios, que se consideraron dudosas, incluso por los jueces y el sistema judicial estadounidense. Por lo tanto, no he venido con ese objetivo.

Tuve un encuentro muy bueno esta mañana con Alan Gross, evidentemente él profesa su inocencia, como lo hizo en su juicio. Hará una apelación a través de sus abogados a los tribunales de nivel superior en Cuba. Espero que estos tribunales de mayor nivel declaren que él es inocente de cualesquiera de los delitos por los que ha sido castigado, y si este no es el caso, entonces, posiblemente en el futuro, se emita una orden ejecutiva para concederle un indulto o una liberación por motivos humanitarios. Su hija está muy enferma, a otros miembros de su familia los ha perdido; él ha perdido como 40 kilogramos de su propio peso corporal, pero parece estar de buen ánimo y plantea su inocencia.

No he venido con la expectativa de llevármelo a casa. De hecho, los funcionarios cubanos dijeron claramente, antes de que yo saliera de mi casa, que la liberación de Alan Gross no será concedida.

Fernando González (Associated Press Television): Tengo entendido que no vino como visita oficial o gubernamental, pero quisiera saber si usted piensa reunirse con el gobierno de Obama y, si lo hace, qué es lo que le va a decir.

James Carter: Bueno, antes de salir he hablado ampliamente con la Asesora de Seguridad Nacional y Secretaria de Estado Clinton sobre las circunstancias que existen entre nuestros dos países. Como ha sido mi costumbre siempre, en cualquier viaje al extranjero, antes de salir voy a la Casa Blanca y doy un informe completo del viaje al Presidente de Estados Unidos y al Secretario de Estado. Esto se hará uno o dos días después que regrese a Estados Unidos y expresaré los criterios que les he expresado a ustedes en este auditorio, más otros asuntos más confidenciales que debo compartir solo entre mi persona y los funcionarios estadounidenses.

Periodista: Sobre la base de sus conversaciones en Washington antes del viaje y sus conversaciones aquí con el presidente Raúl Castro, ¿qué pasos piensa usted que deben darse, qué debe hacer cada país para mejorar las relaciones?

James Carter: Quisiera ver que en las leyes actuales se dé un paso más en la eliminación de las restricciones a los viajes por parte de ciudadanos estadounidenses a Cuba; quisiera ver que las restricciones que existen hoy sobre la transferencia de los fondos humanitarios a Cuba se eliminaran.

Me reuní con un gran número de embajadores radicados aquí en La Habana y representantes de las Naciones Unidas, y dijeron que les ha sido muy difícil en los últimos dos años depender de los canales normales para la ayuda humanitaria al pueblo cubano, porque los estadounidenses restringen las transferencias. Esto también me lo dijeron los líderes de la Unión Europa, el Embajador de Brasil y otros en el grupo. Esto es algo que podría hacerse inmediatamente por parte del Presidente de Estados Unidos con respecto a la ley existente.

Tengo entendido, a partir del Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba y también de todos los embajadores, que estas restricciones sobre la transferencia normal de fondos humanitarios al sistema bancario se han restringido mucho en los últimos dos años. Desde que el presidente Obama está en el cargo he compartido esta información con él.

Yo espero, respecto a otras posibilidades, como ya he expresado, ver, bueno, que el señor Gross sea liberado y que los cinco cubanos regresen a Cuba.

Además de esos aspectos, yo personalmente quisiera que la Ley Helms-Burton fuera derogada completamente. Creo que fue un serio error cuando fue aprobada y firmada por el presidente Clinton.

Cualquier esfuerzo por parte de Estados Unidos para mejorar la vida del pueblo cubano con ayuda financiera u otros medios es sospechoso o ilegal, según la Ley Helms-Burton, porque esa Ley, como ustedes saben, expresamente tiene el objetivo de poner fin al régimen de Castro, de cambiar el régimen. Por lo tanto, esta Ley —en mi opinión— es contraproducente. No existía cuando yo era presidente, y yo podía hacer lo que quisiera básicamente con las restricciones de los viajes y el establecimiento de las relaciones, etcétera.

Estas son algunas de las cosas que son evidentes para todos, y los líderes del Congreso que tienen un origen cubano actúan de manera muy contraproducente al tratar de culpar o castigar al régimen cubano, cuando en realidad están castigando al pueblo cubano con sus restricciones.

Periodista: Señor Carter, usted es una de las pocas personas, de los pocos políticos que tiene el respeto de las dos partes, ¿aceptaría jugar un papel mediador entre los dos países?

James Carter: En la posibilidad, muy poco probable, de que ambos países soliciten mi servicio, yo me complacería en ayudar; pero creo que esto es bastante poco probable.

Periodista: Señor Presidente Carter, cuando usted era presidente no estuvo de acuerdo con las actividades de exiliados violentos contra Cuba. ¿Usted tiene opiniones sobre quitar a Cuba de la lista de los países terroristas?

James Carter: Sí creo que se debe sacar a Cuba de la lista de los países que auspician el terrorismo. Como ustedes posiblemente sepan —no sé si lo saben—, ha habido una cooperación muy estrecha, tengo entendido, entre los servicios de inteligencia cubanos y estadounidenses para enfrentar las amenazas de Al Qaeda y otras organizaciones en la región del Golfo.

Los únicos alegatos de Estados Unidos en cuanto a terrorismo contra el gobierno cubano se relacionan con algunos de los grupos en Colombia, las FARC, y la ETA en España.

Cuando yo me reuní con los embajadores de España y Colombia, ayer por la mañana, me dijeron que no tenían objeción en lo absoluto, que pensaban que la capacidad de los miembros de la ETA y de las FARC en Colombia de venir a Cuba era algo muy positivo para ellos, porque les daba la oportunidad de comunicarse de manera amistosa en Cuba con personas que causaban problemas en sus propios países. Por lo tanto, los alegatos estadounidenses, sus afirmaciones de terrorismo no tienen base alguna, y ese es otro aspecto que el Presidente de Estados Unidos podría hacer, o sea, eliminar la declaración de que Cuba está promoviendo el terrorismo, porque evidentemente es una afirmación incierta.

Puedo responder una pregunta más.

Michael Boston (BBC): Usted se ha reunido con el presidente Raúl Castro y el expresidente Fidel Castro. Ha hablado sobre su deseo de ver la libertad de expresión, la libertad de reunión, el derecho de los cubanos a viajar al exterior; ha hablado también sobre los cambios económicos que deben analizarse en el Congreso, ¿ha tenido algún indicio de que habrá algún cambio político que se analice?

James Carter: En lo absoluto.

Bueno, yo diría que tanto los líderes que usted mencionó como las autoridades familiarizadas con mis propias opiniones sobre las libertades de viajes, de reunión y de expresión en Cuba —cuando estuve hace nueve años hablé ante el pueblo de Cuba, en la televisión, en la radio, y mis palabras fueron presentadas en el Granma tal y como las dije, expresando estos deseos y estas recomendaciones hacia los cubanos—, conocen mis propios criterios de que debe haber cambios, y lo repetí en la conferencia de prensa.

Yo no estoy familiarizado con los detalles o los aspectos del texto que ahora se analiza para el Congreso del Partido. Me han dicho que aproximadamente 8 millones de cubanos participaron dando opiniones. El Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores me dijo que hubo miles de enmiendas propuestas al texto original. También se dice que más del 65 % de los párrafos han sido modificados a partir de las propuestas; pero no conozco el texto original ni la versión modificada.

Los grupos disidentes esta mañana, sin embargo, dijeron que muchos se han abstenido de expresar sus solicitudes sobre las libertades personales, porque no quieren que los asocien con el procedimiento, porque no están de acuerdo con la integridad de este.

Otros grupos con quienes me reuní esta mañana sí han expresado su solicitud de que la libertad internacional estándar debe ser promovida. Por lo tanto no estoy familiarizado con lo que tienen intención de hacer.

Muchísimas gracias a todos.



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