President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama join Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and his wife Cecilia Morel during the welcoming ceremony at La Moneda Palace in Santiago, Chile.
Photo credit: White House
Here's what Barack Obama said Monday about Cuba during his trip to South America:
Let’s never waver in our support for the rights of people to determine their own future — and, yes, that includes the people of Cuba. Since taking office, I’ve announced the most significant changes to my nation’s policy towards Cuba in decades. I’ve made it possible for Cuban Americans to visit and support their families in Cuba. We’re allowing Americans to send remittances that bring some economic hope for people across Cuba, as well as more independence from Cuban authorities.
Going forward, we’ll continue to seek ways to increase the independence of the Cuban people, who I believe are entitled to the same freedom and liberty as everyone else in this hemisphere. I will make this effort to try to break out of this history that’s now lasted for longer than I’ve been alive.
But Cuban authorities must take some meaningful actions to respect the basic rights of their own people — not because the United States insists upon it, but because the people of Cuba deserve it, no less than the people of the United States or Chile or Brazil or any other country deserve it.
Fidel Castro's response is here, in Spanish.