The United States said it had no plans to invade Cuba, after its communist interim leader, Raul Castro, said he had ordered a mobilization to counter a US invasion threat.
“The United States has no plans to invade Cuba,” said Eric Watnik, a State Department spokesman, reiterating remarks made by Tom Shannon, the top US diplomat for the region, since Fidel Castro temporarily ceded power to his brother on July 31 following major surgery.
In his first public statement as interim ruler, published by the Communist Party newspaper Granma, Raul Castro said he had mobilized tens of thousands of reservists and militia members to face a possible US invasion threat.
The United States has invaded and administered Cuba in the past, a subject of everyday political discussion by the Cuban government.
“At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, they frustrated the independence of Cuba and imposed their administrators on us,” Raul Castro said in the interview.
“Now they have also designed one for the supposed ‘transition.’ One (Caleb) McCarry recently stated that the United States does not accept the continuity of the Cuban Revolution, although he didn’t say how they are thinking of averting that,” added Castro.
“Over there, as if they were the rulers of the planet, they are saying that there must be a transition to a social regime of their liking and that they ‘would take note of those who oppose that.’ Although it seems incredible, this boorish and at the same time stupid attitude was assumed by President (George W.) Bush a few days ago,” he said.