The U.S. and Cuban armed forces have held regular secret meetings since 1994, Castro said.
To this day, there have been 157 meetings, and there is a taped record of every meeting. The meetings are conducted on the third Friday of every month. We alternate locations between the American base at Guantánamo and in Cuban-held territory.More recently, a State Department representative also joins the meetings, he said.
The State Department tends to be less reasonable than the Pentagon. But no one raises their voice because...I don't take part. Because I talk loud. It is the only place in the world where these two militaries meet in peace.Asked Cuba’s first priority should he meet with President Bush’s successor, Castro said:
Normalize trade. The only reason for the blockade is to hurt us. Nothing can deter the revolution. Let Cubans come to visit with their families. Let Americans come to Cuba.Told the some U.S. lawmakers hope to help build up Cuba’s economy so that people will be “more able to fight the dictatorship,” Castro said:
We welcome the challenge.Asked if he’d meet with Barack Obama, Castro said he’d “have to think about it.”
I would discuss it with all my comrades in the leadership. Personally, I think it would not be fair that I be the first to visit, because it is always the Latin American presidents who go to the United States first. But it would also be unfair to expect the president of the United States to come to Cuba. We should meet in a neutral place.
Perhaps we could meet at Guantánamo. We must meet and begin to solve our problems…Sean Penn talks about his piece in this YouTube video.