Video shows Cuban vice president speaking candidly about U.S.-Cuba relations, other issues
Miguel Diaz-Canel expected to replace current Cuban president Raul Castro
HAVANA – Cuba's Raul Castro is said to retire and step down as president, and on Tuesday, the public heard from the man who could be taking his place.
Miguel Diaz-Canel spoke about plans for Cuba's transition and, most importantly, Cuba's relationship with the U.S.
The piece of video is very significant because the public rarely hears from the vice president, other than orchestrated appearances.
In the video, Diaz-Canel speaks candidly about several issues, including U.S.-Cuba relations.
The video is said to be shot back in February and was published Tuesday by dissident Antonio Rodiles.
On U.S.-Cuba relations, the country's first vice president said Cuba doesn't have to give anything in exchange for better relations.
He goes on to warn those around him that the U.S. is trying to "change Cuba politically and economically, with the intent of destroying the revolution."
On the issue of opposition, Diaz-Canel said there are two types -- the traditional and the loyal opposition -- or groups not seen as counter revolutionary.
One such group is Cuba Emprende, an organization that works with the Catholic Church to train Cuban entrepreneurs, which he said the U.S. wants to convert into counter revolutionaries.
Diaz-Canel mentions by name On Cuba, a digital American-based publication, saying it's too aggressive and counter revolutionary, and vows to close it down even if the Cuban government is accused of censorship.
A spokeswoman for the media outlet told Local 10 that they continue their Havana operations and have been legally accredited since 2013.
The vice president also talked about getting rid of illegal Wi-Fi networks and the Paquete system, an underground network Cubans use to access and buy outside TV programming.
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