April 19, 2018 / 5:46 PM / 8 months ago

U.S. sees no greater freedom in Cuba under new president, no change in policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration does not see the Cuban people gaining greater freedoms under Cuba’s newly installed president and has no intention of softening its policy toward the island’s Communist government, a White House official said on Thursday.

“The United States has no expectation that the Cuban people will see any greater freedoms under Castro’s handpicked successor,” the official said after the Miguel Diaz-Canel was sworn in to replace Raul Castro as president. Castro will retain the powerful post of Communist Party head.

“We will continue to stand in solidarity with the Cuban people as they call for freedom and prosperity,” the official said. “In support of this, our stated policy to channel funds toward the Cuban people and away from Cuba’s military, security and intelligence services is not expected to change.”

Reporting By Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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