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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Obama: Cuba must reform before US eases stance

Obama said he did not want to be stuck in a Cold War mentality.
Obama said he did not want to be stuck in a Cold War mentality.
Obama said he did not want to be stuck in a Cold War mentality.

The United States is ready to change its stern policy toward Cuba but has not seen steps from Havana that would justify lifting its embargo, President Barack Obama said today.

Obama said he did not want to be "stuck in a Cold War mentality" and that Washington had sought to improve ties by changing rules about remittances and travel but was waiting for signals from Cuba such as the release of political prisoners and guarantees of basic human rights.

He urged the communist-run Caribbean island, under a US embargo for the last five decades, to join the wave of democratic change sweeping the Arab world and that ousted most authoritarian rulers in Latin America in decades past.

"The time has come for the same thing to happen in Cuba," Obama said in a question and answer session with US Hispanic media. "If we see positive movement then we will respond in a positive way."

Yesterday, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro accused Obama of talking "gibberish" in his recent speech to the United Nations and said NATO's actions in Libya were a "monstrous crime."

As a sign of small changes steadily being carried out to change the island’s system, Cuban government published today the revocation of law which banned car sales for over a half century.

The banning of the law is part of much anticipated reforms carried out by President Raúl Castro, Fidel Castro´s brother. In a decree published today at the Official Gazette the government allows citizens and foreigners to “transmit the ownership of vehicles through sale or donation.”

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Tags:  Cuba  Obama  Fidel Castro  US  





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