America's top diplomat to Havana adopts a different tone

America's new top diplomat to Havana dislikes comparisons with his predecessor, the tough-talking former U.S. Interests Section chief whom Fidel Castro called a "bully" and who donned a pink robe to mock a Cuban cartoon portraying him as a fairy princess.

But even &to=' target=_blank>Castro has mentioned the difference, describing Michael Parmly's diplomatic correspondence as "respectful."

Yet Parmly, who has spent much of his career nurturing human rights and democracy in nations recovering from conflict, says he and predecessor James Cason differ only in style.

He said there is no difference at all when it comes to carrying out American policies to promote change in Cuba's communist society.

"The U.S. diplomatic corps gives a fair amount of leeway for personal style as long as you're carrying out American policy," Parmly told The Associated Press Thursday in his first interview with an international news organization since arriving in September.

He and Cason, who was sworn in last week as the new U.S. ambassador to Paraguay, "just have different styles."

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