Tuesday, 23 October 2018, 8:21 AM
Headlines
  • Bangladesh PM Hasina on Fortune’s 2016 list of World’s Greatest Leaders Sri Lanka slaps travel ban on 6 Shalika Foundation directors US expresses concern over India’s ballistic missile launch U.S., Russia want Syrian draft constitution by August North Korea threatens South’s Blue House US imposes new sanctions on Iranian firms over ballistic missile test Muslims Are ‘Protecting Each Other’ and ‘Not Reporting’ Suspicious Activity : Trump Shah Rukh Khan to Team Up With Shoaib Akhtar on TV in India vs Bangladesh World T20 Bangladesh handed fine for slow over-rate against India Argentina to a 2-1 win over Chile in Santiago
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 8:38 am
A- A A+ Print

Obama spars with Cuba’s Castro over human rights in historic visit

U.S. President Barack Obama pushed Cuba to improve human rights during his historic visit to the Communist-led island on Monday, publicly sparring with President Raul Castro who showed flashes of anger and hit back at U.S. "double standards".

Obama praised Castro for openly discussing their differences but he said a "full flowering" of the relationship would happen only with progress on the issue of rights. "In the absence of that, I think it will continue to be a very powerful irritant," Obama said in a joint news conference with Castro that began with jokes but was tense at times.

"America believes in democracy. We believe that freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and freedom of religion are not just American values but are universal values," he said. Both men's remarks were broadcast live on Cuban state television from Cuba's Palace of the Revolution in a room draped with the Stars and Stripes and the Cuban flag.

Castro countered that no country meets all international rights but appeared uncomfortable as he made the rare step of taking questions from journalists in a country where the media is state controlled.

Obama, the first U.S. president to visit Cuba in 88 years, agreed in 2014 to improve relations with the former Cold War foe but he is under pressure at home to push Castro's government to allow political dissent and to further open its Soviet-style economy. He said the two sides would hold talks on human rights in Havana later this year.

Opponents say Obama has given away too much as he improves ties, with too little from Castro in return, although the leading Republican candidate for the Nov. 8 presidential election, Donald Trump, said on Monday he would likely continue to normalize ties with Cuba if elected.

Castro, an army general who became president when his ailing older brother Fidel retired in 2008, had never before taken questions from foreign reporters on live Cuban television and was clearly irritated when asked about political prisoners in Cuba, demanding the reporter produce a list of those in jail.

"Tell me now. What political prisoners? Give me a name, or the names," Castro said. "And if there are these political prisoners they will be free before nightfall."

Comments

Comments!

 Natunsokal.com

Obama spars with Cuba’s Castro over human rights in historic visit

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 8:38 am

U.S. President Barack Obama pushed Cuba to improve human rights during his historic visit to the Communist-led island on Monday, publicly sparring with President Raul Castro who showed flashes of anger and hit back at U.S. “double standards”.

Obama praised Castro for openly discussing their differences but he said a “full flowering” of the relationship would happen only with progress on the issue of rights. “In the absence of that, I think it will continue to be a very powerful irritant,” Obama said in a joint news conference with Castro that began with jokes but was tense at times.

“America believes in democracy. We believe that freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and freedom of religion are not just American values but are universal values,” he said. Both men’s remarks were broadcast live on Cuban state television from Cuba’s Palace of the Revolution in a room draped with the Stars and Stripes and the Cuban flag.

Castro countered that no country meets all international rights but appeared uncomfortable as he made the rare step of taking questions from journalists in a country where the media is state controlled.

Obama, the first U.S. president to visit Cuba in 88 years, agreed in 2014 to improve relations with the former Cold War foe but he is under pressure at home to push Castro’s government to allow political dissent and to further open its Soviet-style economy. He said the two sides would hold talks on human rights in Havana later this year.

Opponents say Obama has given away too much as he improves ties, with too little from Castro in return, although the leading Republican candidate for the Nov. 8 presidential election, Donald Trump, said on Monday he would likely continue to normalize ties with Cuba if elected.

Castro, an army general who became president when his ailing older brother Fidel retired in 2008, had never before taken questions from foreign reporters on live Cuban television and was clearly irritated when asked about political prisoners in Cuba, demanding the reporter produce a list of those in jail.

“Tell me now. What political prisoners? Give me a name, or the names,” Castro said. “And if there are these political prisoners they will be free before nightfall.”

Comments

comments

X