In Cuba, Obama Calls for Burying ‘Last Remnant’ of Cold War

Barack Obama and Raul Castro
Barack Obama and Raul Castro

Havana, 13 Jumadil Akhir 1437/23 March 2016 (MINA) – President Barack Obama urged Cubans on Tuesday to look toward a hopeful future with the United States, casting his historic visit to the communist nation as a moment to “bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas.”

In a speech peppered with Spanish at the Grand Theater of Havana, Obama said he wanted Cubans to see possibilities to move past any “blind optimism” that the country’s problems will disappear and instead plant roots for a future they shape for themselves, Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) reported, quoting SPA.

Reflecting on a half-century of U.S. efforts to isolate Cuba, Obama said he was pursuing a new approach because “what the United States was doing was not working.”

“Many suggested that I come here and ask the people of Cuba to tear something down,” Obama said. “But I’m appealing to the young people of Cuba who will lift something to build something new.”

To Cuban President Raul Castro, watching from a balcony, he added, “I believe my visit here demonstrates you do not need to fear a threat from the United States.”

Obama’s address was carried live on Cuba’s tightly controlled state television, offering him a rare, unfettered opportunity to speak directly to the country’s citizens about his vision.

On the streets of Havana many Cubans who caught the president’s speech were jubilant. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)