WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's overtures to Cuba have enlivened the debate in Congress on boosting American travel and trade to the island, but Raul Castro on Wednesday decried the administration's opening salvo as "achieving only the minimum."
Speaking in Havana before a gathering of international ministers, the Cuban president said that "it is not Cuba that has to make gestures."
He said Obama's moves two weeks ago to lift travel and gift restrictions on Cuban Americans and ease restrictions on U.S. telecommunication firms are "fine, positive, but only achieve the minimum. The embargo remains intact."
The State Department appeared unmoved by the criticism.
"We're interested in a dialogue with Cuba, but I think the international community wants to see some steps from Havana to see, to gauge how serious the government there is," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.