During his historic visit to the Communist-led island of Cuba, U.S. President Obama had a clash with Cuban President Raul Castro. The tiff was regarding political prisoners in Cuba.
Castro was given a version of American freedom of the press when he was questioned about Cuban political prisoners.
According to Cuba’s version, it has no political prisoners. The dozens of prisoners listed by dissident groups are instead common criminals.
Resistance to the U.S. has been part of Cuban national mission for decades. While a Cuban military band played the national anthems of Cuba and the U.S., Obama and Castro stood together, says Examiner Gazette.
He praised Castro for openly discussing their differences, during a joint press conference. However, Obama pointed out that their relationship would flourish only with progress on the issue of rights.
According to Obama, the U.S. has issues with the human rights records of many nations, such as China. “America believes in democracy,” he said.
“We believe that freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and freedom of religion are not just American values but are universal values.”
On a live Cuban TV show, Obama said that the issue on human rights records in Cuba would act as a constant factor of irritation.
Castro also appreciated Obama’s efforts to ease controls on Cuba. The Cuban president termed it as “positive,” but marked them as insufficient.
Castro opposed Obama by stating that no country meets all international rights. Later the Cuban leader seemed uncomfortable while taking questions from journalists.
This is rare as he is the leader of a country where the media is state-controlled, says Sky News.
America has allowed Cuban immigrants to attain permanent residence or citizenship. This is more of a consolation on America’s part.
Several opponents said that the US president took a lot of steps to improve ties. However, there was too little from Castro in return.
Republican candidate Donald Trump said on Monday he would likely sustain to normal ties with Cuba if elected.