In a televised speech before Parliament and a group of favored guests — including Elián González, the center of a tug of war in 2000 between Cuban exiles and Havana, and the three men convicted of spying in the United States who were released as part of the historic agreement announced on Wednesday — Mr. Castro alternated between conciliatory and combative statements directed at the United States.
He stoked the flames of Cuban nationalism, declaring near the end of his statement, “We won the war.” But he also praised Mr. Obama for starting the biggest change in United States-Cuba policy in more than 50 years.
“The Cuban people are grateful,” he said, for Mr. Obama’s decision “to remove the obstacles to our relations.”
He added that all issues and disputes between Cuba and the United States would be on the table in coming discussions about re-establishing formal diplomatic ties between the two countries. But he offered no immediate concessions to demands for improvement in Cuba’s human rights record. …
Mr. Castro confirmed that he would travel to Panama in April for the Summit of the Americas, which Mr. Obama is also set to attend. A White House official said Saturday that there were no current plans for the two presidents to meet there.