Raul castro meets north korea minister amid hope of defused tensions
HAVANA: Cuban President Raul Castro met with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on Friday amid hopes the Communist-run island might be able to convince its Asian ally to avert a showdown with the United States. Cuba has maintained close diplomatic ties with North Korea since 1960 but is opposed to nuclear weapons. “In the brotherly encounter, both sides commented on the historic friendship between the two nations and talked about international topics of mutual interest,” Cuban state television said on its midday broadcast. Ri met his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez this week and the ministers denounced US “unilateral and arbitrary lists and designations” that led to “coercive measures contrary to international law”, according to Cuba’s foreign ministry. The ministers called for “respect for peoples’ sovereignty” and the “peaceful settlement of disputes”, according to a ministry statement. President Donald Trump has increased pressure on Cuba since taking office, rolling back a detente begun by his predecessor Barack Obama and returning to the hostile rhetoric of the Cold War. North Korea and Cuba are the last countries in the world to maintain Soviet-style command economies.
“Salaries are the same, food is always getting more expensive and now we have Trump tightening the embargo.” tional mourning. A funeral cortege carried his ashes on a three-day journey from Havana to his final resting place in the east of the island, where he had launched the Cuban revolution.
“I am Fidel” became a na- tionwide chant, as many Cubans pledged to stay faithful to the revolution he led that in 1959 overthrew a U.S.-backed dictator.
“He was the best we’ve had as a leader,” said Rene Perez, a Havana taxi driver, echoing