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Fidel: a cautious approval of U.S.-Cuba thaw

He said he doubts U.S. motives but supports policies leading to peace.

By Ed Adamczyk
Cuban President Fidel Castro on December 14, 1995 in Vancouver, Canada. File photo by H. Ruckemann/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/39f0793bd17f2f896e46199134ab8cab/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Cuban President Fidel Castro on December 14, 1995 in Vancouver, Canada. File photo by H. Ruckemann/UPI | License Photo

HAVANA , Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro's first public comments on the restoration of U.S.-Cuba relations indicate his cautious approval.

"I do not trust the policy of the United States nor have I exchanged a word with them," he wrote. "This does not mean, however, that I would oppose a peaceful solution to conflicts or threats of war," Castro, 88, wrote in a letter published Monday in Granma, the state-run newspaper.

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"We will always defend the cooperation and friendship with all peoples of the world, including our political opponents," he added, saying President Raul Castro, his brother, took "the appropriate steps, according to his prerogatives."

His silence since the Dec. 17 announcement of the renewal of relations promoted speculation Castro was ill or involved in a political feud with his brother. Although Fidel Castro has not been seen in public for over a year, his comments on global topics typically appear in print.

He made no mention, in Monday's letter, of the three Cuban agents freed in a prisoner exchange with the United States. They were among a group he sent to Miami to infiltrate anti-Castro groups twenty years ago, and since 1998 he has campaigned for their release.

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