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OBAMA AND CASTRO SHOOK HANDS MONDAY IN HAVANA’S PALACE OF THE REVOLUTION, CUBA

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THEME:   NATION, WORLD

By Dan Bart | March 22, 2016 9:18 pm

As it was expected Obama and Castro stood together (whoever else) as a Cuban military band played the national anthems of Cuba and the United States — stunning sounds in a country where resistance to the U.S. has been part of the national mission for decades. It looks that they greeted each other pretty warmly. Then Obama and Castro inspected an honor guard and sit down in front of American and Cuban flags.

It’s been really the longest-awaited meeting between Obama and Castro, however, the wrong Castro

It’s been really the longest-awaited meeting between Obama and Castro, however, the wrong Castro

It’s been really the longest-awaited meeting between Obama and Castro, however, the wrong Castro. President Obama’s started 2½-day trip to Cuba.

“It is a great honor to pay tribute to Jose Marti, who gave his life for independence of his homeland. His passion for liberty, freedom, and self-determination lives on in the Cuban people today,” Obama wrote in the guestbook. So, how about Fidel Castro’s passion for liberty, freedom, and self-determination of Cuban people today?

“We continue, as President Castro indicated, to have some very serious differences, including on democracy and human rights,” said Obama. “There are profound differences between our countries that will not go away,” confirmed Castro.

Obama, in an interview with ABC News, said he has no problem with such a meeting “just as a symbol of the end of this Cold War chapter.”

Western Union announced Monday, March 21, 2016 that it will start processing remittances from non-U.S. countries into Cuba.

While Castro has welcomed increased economic ties, he insisted his country would still suffer as long as the American economic embargo was in place. Obama has called on Congress to lift the blockade, but lawmakers have not held a vote on the repeal.

In his Tuesday speech Obama only briefly digressed from his prepared remarks to address the violence. Most of it was to pushing forward a new era with Cuba.

I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas,” he said to applause. “I have come here to extend the hand of friendship to the Cuban people.”

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