sábado, 11 de abril de 2015

Obama and Castro in historic US-Cuba meeting

US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro have met on the fringes of the Summit of the Americas, the first formal talks between the two countries' leaders in half a century.

Earlier, Mr Obama described the historic thaw in US-Cuba relations as a "turning point".This is their first full meeting since the thaw began in December. Mr Castro has called for the lifting of the US economic blockade on Cuba, in place since 1959.
Sensitive issues
President Obama said that it was time to "try something new" and that it was important for the US to engage more directly with the Cuban government and the Cuban people.
He added that over time it would be possible to "turn the page" on old divisions but he acknowledged that there were still significant differences. "We have both concluded that we can disagree with a spirit of respect and civility."
Mr Obama said that immediate tasks include normalising diplomatic relationships between the two countries and opening a US embassy in Havana and a Cuban embassy in Washington DC.
Mr Castro said that he was ready to talk about sensitive issues but that patience would be needed. "We are willing to make progress in the way the president has described," he said. Latin American and Caribbean leaders at the summit in Panama welcomed the reconciliation.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff hailed it as a courageous effort to end the last vestiges of the Cold War, which she said had caused great damage in the hemisphere. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina gave the main credit to Cuba, saying it had fought with unprecedented dignity against the US blockade.(FM).

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