Washington D.C., Mar. 22 (ANI): Putting the Havana government in a spot, U.S. President Barack Obama asserted that his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro also delivers satisfactory answers to queries on human rights, political prisoners and economic reforms.
According to CNN, even though both leaders did not agree on several grounds, they found common ground on the topic of the economic embargo on Cuba, which both want lifted and Obama declared that “the embargo’s going to end,” though he couldn’t say when.
Answering a question on why his regime was keeping Cubans incarcerated for expressing anti-government views, Castro went on the defence saying, “Did you ask if we had political prisoners? Give me a list of political prisoners and I will release them immediately,” Castro said defensively when asked by CNN that why his government was incarcerating dissidents.
Castro later read out a list of areas where he said the U.S. was failing and ended the question-and-answer session after a second inquiry on human rights, saying he’d said “enough.”
In his own message on human rights, Obama defended his decision to come to Cuba even as government dissent is punished.
“We have decades of profound differences. I told President Castro that we are moving forward and not looking backwards. We will continue to stand up for basic principles that we believe in. America believes in democracy. We believe that freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, are not just American values but universal values,” he said.
Stressing that work toward improving economic conditions in his country was progressing, Castro said that a longstanding trade embargo prevents a full restoration of ties.
“Much more could be done if the U.S. blockade could be lifted,” Castro said. “The most recent measures adopted by his administration are positive but insufficient.”
Agreeing with Castro, Obama said that the restrictions would eventually be removed, adding that, “The path that we’re on will continue beyond my administration. The reason is logic.” (ANI)