UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 8, 2009

BLACK CAUCUS MEMBERS MEET WITH FIDEL

LA Times - The aging, ailing, cigar-smoking icon Fidel Castro had three members of Congress visit with him in Havana, which resulted in the bearded one asking, "How can we help President Obama?" In an effort to improve the relationship between Cuba and the U.S., Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) and Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) were the first U.S. officials to meet with the 82-year-old former dictator since his intestinal surgery in July 2006.

Greg Adams of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana confirmed that the three members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with Castro, who handed the communist torch to his brother Raul in early 2007. . . . Six members of the caucus met with Raul Castro on Monday for more than four hours. That meeting was also a first, as he had not yet met with any U.S. officials since he became the Cuban in charge.

"I'm convinced Raul Castro wants a normal relationship with the United States," Lee said after the meeting with the 77-year-old, the Associated Press reported. "He's serious."

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