Cuba today rejected a proposal by the United States, Britain and Costa Rica to hold talks aimed at resettling Cuban refugees in other countries.
The suggestion of multilateral discussions was made in a note handed to the Castro government yesterday by the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Havana.
The proposal came out of a conference in Costa Rica last month in which that country and the United States were comparatively unsuccessful in persuading other governments to help launch an international effort to resolve the Cuban refugee situation.
Although Spain and Argentina -- both of which have good relations with Cuba -- were also asked to participate in the resettlement talks, they declined because they did not want to antagonize the government of President Fidel Castro. Castro then privately dismissed the effort as not an "international" one, and Cuba' rejection of the talks was expected.
The Cuban Foreign Ministry's reply, copies of which are distributed to foreign correspondents, described the initiative as an attempt to interfere in Cuba's internal affairs.
The note said that for humanitarian resons many countries were prepared to accept Cuban citizens for temporary or permanent resettlement.
It proposed negotiations aimed at setting up an orderly program to enable people who wished to leave Cuba to travel safely to the countries willing to take them.
Cuba said this was a matter for bilateral discussion between the Castro government and the countries concerned.