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Raul Castro: Ready to talk to Obama

Jan. 3, 2009 at 12:19 PM

HAVANA, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Cuban President Raul Castro says he's repeating his offer to hold direct talks with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.

Speaking on television Friday, a day after Cuba marked the 50th anniversary of its communist revolution, Castro reiterated his willingness to hold talks direct talks with Obama, whom he described as an "honest man" facing high expectations, the BBC reported

But Castro also played down what he called "excessive hopes."

"A president is coming in who has raised a lot of expectations in many parts of the world, hopes that are too high, I think," Castro told viewers, adding, "We are in no rush, we are not desperate."

Obama has said he would like to see an easing of the 46-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, the BBC reported.

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