A deal brokered by Raul Castro, Fidel's younger brother by five years and the man who replaced him as president in 2008, and Barack Obama at the end of last year could see full diplomatic ties re-established between the two countries.
Fidel Castro, Cuba's leader from the end of the 1950s, wrote in Cuba's Communist Party newspaper Granma:
I don't trust the policy of the United States nor have I had an exchange with them, but this does not mean ... a rejection of a peaceful solution to conflicts or the dangers of war.
Any peaceful or negotiated solution to the problems between the United States and the peoples or any people of Latin America that doesn't imply force or the use of force should be treated in accordance with international norms and principles.
We will always defend cooperation and friendship with all the peoples of the world, among them our political adversaries.
The president of Cuba has taken the pertinent steps in accordance with his prerogatives and the powers given to him by the National Assembly the Communist Party of Cuba.
The serious dangers that threaten humanity today should give way to rules that are compatible with human dignity.
No country is excluded from such rights. With this spirit I have fought and will continue fighting until my last breath.