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Castro Hopeful of Better Relations with U.S.

Jan. 1, 1964 - Premier Fidel Castro said today in a telephone interview from Havana that he was hopeful that good relations with the U.S. might be restored in 1964. He added that the “next move” was up to Washington. He said that until President Kennedy’s “tragic death,” he believed that “an eventual normalization of relations with the Kennedy Administration was possible.” The Cuban leader said he was uncertain about relations with President Johnson, but emphasized that he was “hopeful.” “We cannot be sure about what he’s going to do,” he continued. “I think it is possible that he understands that the U.S. policy about Cuba precipitates defeat.”

Castro gave his views in an interview with Lisa Howard, a reporter for ABC. The Cuban leader sidestepped discussion of the possibility that he might be overthrown this year. He said he could not predict his life span, but he predicted that the revolutionary movement in Cuba would live long after him. “I want to say to the people of the United States,” he declared, “that in spite of the fact that President Kennedy was hard personally toward us, of course we are really sorry about his tragic death. And another thing, at last, in the name of the people of Cuba, we wish to the people of the United States a good year in 1964.”



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