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Cuba's Raul Castro calls for "civilized relations" with the US

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Raul Castro's unprecedented handshake with Barack Obama took place at Nelson Mandela's memorial ceremony.
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Cuban President Raul Castro has called for "civilised relations" with the United States, saying the two countries should respect their differences.

President Castro said the US should drop its demand for regime change on the communist-run island.

That would allow both sides to continue work on improving relations, he said.

Mr Castro's comments follow a public handshake with President Obama at the memorial ceremony for Nelson Mandela in South Africa earlier this month.


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We do not ask the United States to change its political and social system.”

Raul Castro

In a rare public speech, Mr Castro said Cuban and American officials had met several times over the last year to discuss practical matters, such as immigration and the re-establishment of a postal service.

That shows that relations can be civilised, Mr Castro explained.

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