HAVANA – President Raul Castro met with six visiting members of theCongressional Black Caucus for more than four hours, his first face-to-face discussions with U.S. leaders since he became Cuba’s president last year.
State television showed images of Castro, who holds the rank of four-star army general, wearing a business suit instead of his trademark olive-green fatigues and sitting down with Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, and other members of the American delegation behind closed doors late Monday.
“I’m convinced Raul Castro wants a normal relationship with the United States,” Lee told The Associated Press after the meeting adjourned. “He’s serious.”
She said it was now up to members of the American delegation to “communicate what we have learned to our speaker and go from there,” referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a fellow California Democrat.
“We talked about all the issues necessary to normal relations between our two countries,” Lee said. “It was a constructive dialogue.”