Q You're going to Trinidad and Tobago. Most of these countries, it's the first time you meet with the leaders. They've been -- they want to
bring Cuba up as an issue. You've lifted restrictions on Cuban Americans. How is this issue going to play out?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, I have no problem with them bringing up Cuba as an issue. I think I've been very clear about my position on
Cuba. What I've said is, is that we should loosen up restrictions on travel and remittances. We have now acted on that. We also believe
that Cuba can potentially be a critical part of regional growth in the region.
But Cuba has to take some steps, send some signals that when it comes to human rights, when it comes to political rights, when it comes to
the ability of Cubans to travel, that there is some signs that we're moving away from what has been a set of policies that have really
hampered Cuba's ability to grow.
I mean, I think -- think about the irony, the fact that, you know, on the one hand we're loosening up travel restrictions, and yet there are
a lot of Cubans who can't leave Cuba. That, I think, is an example of the kinds of changes that we hope we can promote over time. And I
think that our partners in Central and South America can be very important in helping to move away from the past and into the future.
Q Fidel Castro reacted to your lifting of sanctions, saying it was a positive move, but that he expected the lifting of the embargo. And he
said that Cuba won't beg, but that's what eventually they expect from the U.S.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don't expect Cuba to beg. Nobody is asking for anybody to beg. What we're looking for is some signal that there are
going to be changes in how Cuba operates that assures that political prisoners are released, that people can speak their minds freely, that
they can travel, that they can write and attend church, and do the things that people throughout the hemisphere can do and take for
granted. And if there's some sense of movement on those fronts in Cuba, then I think that we can see a further thawing of relations and
But we took an important first step. I think it's a signal of our good faith that we want to move beyond the Cold War mentality that has
existed over the last 50 years. And hopefully we'll see some signs that Cuba wants to reciprocate.
at 11:44 AM Thursday, April 16, 2009
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04/12 - 04/19
- Obama Boycotts Durban II, Castro Is Surely Disappo...
- The Ball Is In Cuba's Court
- WH: Actions Speak Louder Than Words
- In My Humble Opinion, Pt. 2
- The U.S. Has Changed Over Time, It's Now Cuba's Tu...
- Background Briefing (Cuba Portions Only)
- Morning Session at the Summit
- Did Raul Make An "Overture" to Obama? Not Likely....
- Chris Matthews Slams Engagement With Castro
- Obama to Chavez: Hi, I'm Barack Obama
- Obama Speech at Summit
- Menendez Statement On Raul Castro's Comments
- Q&A w/ WH Press Secretary Gibbs
- From Air Force One (en route to Trinidad)
- Obama Calls Lula For Leverage Against Chavez
- The Most Expensive Remittance Market In the World
- Germany Is Not Happy With Cuba Dialogue
- Fidel Thanks Congressional Opponents of U.S. Polic...
- Raul Responds to Obama
- Not a Republican Issue, Nor a Democrat Issue
- Chavez Proclaims Cuban Democracy
- Obama in Mexico (on Cuba)
- Congresswoman Laura Richardson's Press Release
- In Kansas Senate Race, Moran, Tiahrt Differ On Cub...
- Obama’s Actions Favor Castros, Not Human Rights
- From Air Force One
- U.S. Policy Change Means More Money, Visits
- Full Transcript of Obama on Cuba
- Op-ed by President Barack Obama: ‘Choosing a Bette...
- Obama Directly Comments on Cuba
- A Bulls-Eye Analysis That Deserves National Attent...
- Lifting U.S. Sanctions Risks Opening Pandora's Box...
- Canada opposes Cuba rejoining the OAS
- In My Humble Opinion...
- State Department Inspector General's Report
- Iowa Senator Favors Embargo Until Cubans Have Free...
- From Obama's Backyard
- From Trinidad and Tobago
- How to Welcome Havana to the OAS
- Rep. Sires On Obama Cuba Changes
- Rep. Kendrick Meek opposes President Barack Obama'...
- As the U.S. moves to unilaterally ease the flow of...
- Obama Memorandum: Promoting Democracy and Human Ri...
- White House Cuba Press Briefing
- Reaction to Obama Administration Announcement
- Today's Announcement
- Wasserman Schultz to Obama: Don't enrich the Castr...
- Think Again: Engaging Cuba
- ▼ 04/12 - 04/19 (48)