Cuban official: No negotiating politics with US

A top Cuban foreign ministry official said Thursday that Cuba is open to discussions with the Obama administration, but will not change its mode of government for the sake of better relations. President Barack Obama has eased restriction on travel, money transfers and telecommunications between the US and Cuba. But top US officials say they would like to see some Cuban political and social reforms before exploring normalizing diplomatic relations. Fidel Castro insists that Cuba should make no concessions in return for better US ties. Josefina Vidal, director of the ministry's North American Department, reiterated that stance at the start of a conference in Canada. "Cuba cannot be asked to give up its form of government as a condition to establish normal relations with the United States. That position is a nonstarter. It will lead us no where," Vidal said. "In doing so the United States would make the same mistake that previous governments have done."