2016-03-23 08:54:00

Obama pushes US-Cuba relations

(Vatican Radio) President Barack Obama has thrown down the gauntlet of hope through progress for US-Cubans relations, as the memory hallmarking his brave, revolutionary and visionary visit to Cuba.

Listen to James Blears’ report:

Barack Obama was born in 1961, two years after the Cuban Revolution started.  His hair is greying and he's almost reached his mid-fifties, yet the situation between these two nations is yet to be fully resolved. 

In his parting speech at Havana's Grand Theater, President Obama said he had bridged this distance to extend the hand of friendship and bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas.  He tried to be even handed publically, calling on the US Congress to finally lift the trade embargo on Cuba, condemning it as: "An outdated burden on the Cuban people."

He urged Cuban Authorities not to be heavy handed, with the thinly veiled  messages: "I believe citizens should be free to speak their  minds without fear.  And voters should be able to choose their governments in free and democratic elections."

In spite of the horrific terrorist attack in Belgium, President Obama stayed on in Cuba to complete a mission which has been decades in the creating.  The next move is up to President Raul Castro and his Government.  By nature, upbringing, training and experience during a long life,  President Raul Castro is cautious,  but he's also a pragmatist.   He and his administration must respond and reciprocate.  How much further he's prepared  to go, and whether he's willing  to make an historic State visit to the United States, remains to be seen.

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