Cuban Embargo Is “Going to End” Says President Obama During Historic Havana Trip
“We have decades of profound differences,” Obama said when asked what his message on human rights was during his “frank conversation” on the issue with Castro. “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,” said Obama, who at points insisted that Castro answer the questions posed to him by American journalists. “America believes in democracy. We believe that freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, are not just American values but universal values.”
Obama underscored those sentiments in his exclusive evening interview with ABC News.
“My view is that people have a right to express their differences. Now, one of the things I said to President Castro, and I truly believe this, is that if they were less fearful of dissent, then not only might they be able to improve government, but I suspect that they could enhance their legitimacy in the eyes of the Cuban people,” Obama said. “Better to listen, hear them out. And he may discover that in fact they have something to teach him.”
On Tuesday, Obama will give a historic address to the Cuban people along with scheduled plans to visit many of the entrepreneurs in the nation, whom he views as one of the many avenues to help ease tensions as flight restrictions are slowly scaled back. With more tourism from Americans in the country, Obama expects significant change to come to the country.
“What you’re gonna end up seeing is a freer and more prosperous Cuba,” said Obama.
Along with Obama and the first family, 39 delegates from Congress, including five Republicans, accompanied the President on the trip.