Castro reconciles with Jamaican enemy in Caribbean MEETING

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Fidel Castro and one of his most outspoken foes in the Caribbean buried their differences Thursday in a meeting that reflected the Cuban leader’s triumphant push for regional recognition.
“Every conflict has a beginning and has an end, and we have come to the end,” Edward Seaga, a former Jamaican prime minister who once severed his country’s ties with Havana, told The Associated Press.
The hour-long meeting reflected the regional reconciliation that has taken several Caribbean leaders to Havana over the past 18 months and inspired them to launch a diplomatic offensive against the tough U.S. stance on Cuba.
In a six-day trip ending Aug. 3, Castro is visiting Jamaica, Barbados and Grenada — all countries that shunned him at one time or another.
The only opposition to his visit has been voiced in Grenada. Some politicians on that island say Castro’s visit is an insult to the United States, which lost 18 soldiers in a 1983 invasion to oust Marxist hard-liners who had overthrown a Cuban-allied government. Forty-five Grenadians and 29 Cubans also were killed.
Seaga said his meeting with Castro, the first ever between them, was “very amiable, very frank and vintage Castro, in that we both had an opportunity to talk around the subject.”
“The subject” referred to fears from the 1970s that Castro might export his revolution, taking over Jamaica through proxies. In Cuba, military training camps were run for Jamaicans and the Kingston government of Michael Manley nationalized businesses, part of a Cuban-inspired program that badly harmed the economy and caused a flight of educated and skilled Jamaicans.