(CNN) – The Obama transition team declined comment Wednesday on a report that Cuban President Raul Castro might be interested in meeting with the president-elect at Guantanamo Bay, and had told an interviewer Cubans could "send [Obama] home with the American flag that waves over" the U.S. base there.
Asked whether he would be willing to visit Washington to speak with Obama, Castro instead suggested to actor Sean Penn Guantanamo Bay could serve as "neutral ground" for discussions. Castro also told Penn, in an interview published in The Nation, that the two leaders "must meet and begin to solve our problems."
Raul Castro’s brother, longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro, criticized Obama this spring for his position in favor of altering – but retaining – Washington’s nearly five-decade trade embargo on the island nation.
Obama came under fire from campaign rivals for his statement at a CNN/YouTube Democratic primary debate that he would be willing to meet without preconditions with Castro and other leaders hostile toward the United States.
–CNN's Ed Henry contributed to this report