"We are able to produce food and material wealth we need with the effort and intelligence of our people. We do not need the empire to gift us anything. Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, due to our commitment to peace and brotherhood with all human beings living on this planet," Castro said in an article published in the Granma daily newspaper.
"Nobody should have an illusion that the people of this noble and selfless country would give up the glory, the rights and spiritual wealth they earned with the development of education, science and culture," he pointed out.
In December 2014, Obama announced that the United States would begin to normalize relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of non-engagement and hostilities. While the two countries reopened embassies in their respective capitals in July 2015, the congressionally-mandated US trade embargo continues to remain in effect.