Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cuba must reform before U.S. eases stance - Obama

Cuba must reform before U.S. eases stance - Obama
WASHINGTON, Sept 28 | Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:25pm EDT

(Reuters) - 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 on Wednesday.

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 U.S. 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 U.S. Hispanic media. "If we see
positive movement then we will respond in a positive way."

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

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