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Change Is Going To Happen In Cuba – Obama

epa05224331 US President Barack Obama (R) greets President of Cuba Raul Castro at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana, Cuba, 21 March 2016. US President Barack Obama is on an official visit to Cuba from 20 to 22 March 2016; the first US president to visit since Calvin Coolidge 88 years ago.  EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

President Barack Obama is in Cuba for a historic three-day visit to the island and talks with its communist leader.

He is the first sitting US president to visit since the 1959 revolution, which heralded decades of hostility between the two countries.

Mr Obama said change would happen in Cuba and that Cuban President Raul Castro understood that.

The two leaders met to talk about trade and held a joint news conference.

Mr Castro denied that there are political prisoners in Cuba, telling journalists to “give him a list” and then they would be released “tonight”.

He also defended Cuba’s record on human rights and jabbed at problems in the US.

“We defend human rights, in our view civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are indivisible, inter-dependent and universal,” Mr Castro said.

“Actually we find it inconceivable that a government does not defend and ensure the right to healthcare, education, social security, food provision and development.”

Mr Obama said the trade embargo would be fully lifted in Cuba, but he could not say exactly when.

“The reason is what we did for 50 years did not serve our interests or the interests of the Cuban people,” he said.

Why is the visit groundbreaking?

For a US president to touch down at Jose Marti airport in Havana and be warmly greeted by Cuban’s foreign minister was until recently unthinkable.

For decades, the US and Cuba were engaged in a bitter stand-off, triggered by the overthrow of US-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista by Communist leader Fidel Castro in 1959.

The US broke off diplomatic relations and imposed a trade embargo.

But President Obama undertook two years of secret talks which led to the announcement in December 2014 that the two countries would restore diplomatic relations.

Since then, there have been a series of symbolic moments, such as the first formal meeting of Presidents Obama and Castro at a regional summit in Panama and the opening of embassies in Havana and Washington DC.

The post Change Is Going To Happen In Cuba – Obama appeared first on Nigerian News from Leadership News.

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