In this article Fidel Castro responds to President Obama’s visit to Havana focusing heavily on his March 22 remarks. Castro highlights the turbulent history between the United States and Cuba as well as the ideological differences between the two countries and notes that these could play a significant role in regard to the normalization process. Castro closes the article by warning that Cuba does “not need the empire to give us anything.”
By Dario Machado (Granma, March 30, 2016)
Following President Obama’s March visit to Cuba, this article discusses the concerns of some Cubans regarding the intentions of the President and recent changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba. Machado emphasizes the lack of movement on U.S. policy toward Cuba throughout the beginning of the Obama administration and analyzes sections of Obama’s speech in Havana on March 22, specifically noting the lack of mention of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and the Cuban Adjustment Act.
By Barack Obama (The White House: Office of the Press Secretary, March 22, 2016)
In these remarks, President Obama states his intentions for his trip to Cuba: “I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas. I have come here to extend the hand of friendship to the Cuban people.” Obama also discusses the cultural similarities between Cuba and the United States, recognizing the common values between the two nations. Overall, the president’s remarks appeal for the a new era of mutual respect and cooperation between Cuba and the United States.
By Tracy Wilkinson (Los Angeles Times, March 22, 2016)
In this article, Wilkinson lists and describes the Cuban dissidents that met with President Obama during his visit to Cuba. While the dissident community is small in Cuba, it encompasses a diverse group of individuals who fight for a variety of causes. The meeting included the Berta Soler, the head of the Damas de Blanco, LGBT rights activists, two Afro-Cuban leaders, and dissident bloggers.
By Frances Robles (New York Times, March 22, 2016)
President Obama’s nearly two hour meeting with thirteen prominent Cuban dissidents was praised as an act of solidarity and as concrete evidence of the president’s commitment to human rights on the island. In this article, Robles also reports that the atmosphere of the meeting was one of “closeness and trust,” an encouraging sign for the dissidents despite the fact that many did not initially support normalization with the United States out of concern for increased repression on the island.
(ABC News, March 22, 2016)
In a lengthy interview with President Obama, journalist David Muir asks the president “why now?” with respect to why the president has chosen to make his historic trip to Cuba. Obama points to the several positive steps forward since the normalization announcements in December 2014, stating that an end to the embargo is “inevitable,” although he does not expect it happen in the remaining months of his presidency. Throughout the interview Obama expresses many sentiments of mutual respect and cooperation with the Cuban people, while emphasizing that there is real opportunity for change on the island.
Remarks by the First Lady and Soledad O’Brien During a Girls’ Education Discussion with Cuban Students
By Michelle Obama and Soledad O’Brien (The White House: Office of the First Lady, March 21, 2016)
This transcript details a round table discussion between First Lady Michelle Obama, Soledad O’Brien, and Cuban students. The event is part of the First Lady’s Let Girls Learn initiative, in which she engages young women in conversation about their educational opportunities and what makes them role models. In this discussion, the First Lady asks the Cuban students questions from American students.
By Barack Obama (The White House: Office of the Press Secretary, March 21, 2016)
In an event geared towards Cuban cuentapropistas and Cuban Americans looking to engage in business on the island, Obama discusses specific American businesses that are operating on the island, like Airbnb, while speaking about the enormous amount of entrepreneurship potential. This transcript also includes statements from Cuban cuentapropistas and their questions for President Obama.
By Enjoli Francis (ABC News, March 21, 2016)
In this formal interview with David Muir, President Obama answers questions about a meeting with President Raúl Castro, in which he states that Castro “truly wants change,” although is not prepared to make a regime change. Obama also touches on human rights issues and how he plans on continuing to engage with Cuba through a dialogue that will continue beyond the historic visit to the island.
By Barack Obama (The White House: Office of the Press Secretary, March 20, 2016)
This press release marks President Obama’s introduction to the U.S. Embassy in Havana, and showcases his remarks of gratitude to the embassy’s staff for their work regarding his trip to the island.
By Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla (Granma, March 17, 2016)
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez discusses the new U.S. regulations regarding economic engagement with Cuba. While Rodriguez admits that the regulations are a positive step forward, the U.S. economic embargo persists, which is “the most important obstacle to Cuba’s economic development and causes hardships to the Cuban people.” He urges the United States to end the blockade, especially as both countries prepare for President Obama’s March 2016 visit to the island.
(Granma, March 9, 2016)
This editorial announces President Obama’s March 2016 visit to Cuba, acknowledging the role that other Latin American nations have played in the diplomatic efforts since the December 2014 normalization announcements. It highlights the recent changes implemented by the United States since D-17 in regard to the embargo but also demands that action be taken in regard to other policy irritants including “wet foot-dry foot”, the medical parole program, Guantanamo Bay Naval base, and “regime change” television and radio broadcasting. The also discusses U.S. policy toward Venezuela as well as responds to the U.S. call to address human rights.
By Josh Earnest and Ben Rhodes (The White House: Office of the Press Secretary, February 18, 2016)
This press release announces that President Obama and the First Lady will be traveling to Cuba. The release goes on to detail some of the administration’s plans for the visit, including engaging in more meaningful people-to-people conversations, looking at the recent changes in policies and regulations, and encouraging more cooperation with telecommunications and infrastructure.