The FINANCIAL — HAVANA. Cuban President Raul Castro denied media speculations that there were signs of a political rift within the Cuban leadership, RIA Novosti reports.
Speaking before the parliament, which opened its biannual session on August 1, Castro insisted that the unity of the leadership and the majority of the Cuban people were the country's "most important weapon."
"As much as it hurts our enemies, our unity today is stronger than ever before," Castro said.
At the same time, Castro warned political opponents against activism following a recent deal with the island's Roman Catholic Church to release 52 political prisoners over four months.
The dissidents were imprisoned in 2003 and charged with subversive activity on behalf of the United States.
"Those who attempt to endanger our independence will not escape with impunity," Castro said on August 1.
The Cuban leader, who succeeded his ailing brother Fidel Castro as president four years ago, reiterated that his country would never abandon its socialist ideals or allow changes that could lead to restoration of capitalism on the island.