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Obama and Cuba: US President's Portrayal in Cuban Media

By    |   Monday, 14 Dec 2015 07:25 PM

Since the revolution and installment of the embargo, Cuba's outlook on U.S. presidents has not been very favorable. Despite the recent thawing in diplomatic relations with Cuba, President Barack Obama's portrayal in Cuban media still isn't very positive.

The online Cuban news agency Cubadebate ran an opinion piece in October 2011 stating that Obama had the chance to distance himself from former presidents by acting on the relationship with Cuba. They saw Obama as a fresh start, urging him to move on from his country’s stance and live up to the promise of his election campaign. The piece concluded by saying: “Obama’s dilemma is that his election was marked by very high expectations. His main problem is that for many people there has been no difference between him and his predecessors.”

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In another opinion piece on Cubadebate, this time from May 2015, the writer says Obama has not done enough regarding relations with Cuba and, if he was determined, he could move further to improve matters from a Cuban point of view. The piece portrays Obama as being weak for not using all his powers and urges him to do so: “If he is determined, Obama can use his broad executive powers to substantially modify the application of the blockade, even without the approval of Congress.”

The state-run newspaper and official organ of the Cuban communist party, Granma is now slightly more positive in its portrayal of Obama. Traditionally very anti-American, the outlet has changed its tone in reports and welcomes the pro-Cuba moves of Obama, though only as a sign of Cuban victory in the 50-year standoff between the two countries.

In an article from Granma in April 2015, the reporter quotes only positive remarks from Obama, while still playing the image of a country under siege from an aggressive neighbour. On such quote attributed to Obama was: "Castro spoke in his speech of the hardships that the Cubans have had to endure, my policy is to help them to be more prosperous, the Cubans are an enlightened, intelligent and brilliant people."

Granma also carries full transcripts from Fidel Castro. These “Reflections by Fidel” are an indication of general media attitude to Obama. In one article, Castro condemns Obama for being all style and no substance.

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Since the revolution and installment of the embargo, Cuba's outlook on U.S. presidents has not been very favorable. Despite the recent thawing in diplomatic relations with Cuba, President Barack Obama's portrayal in Cuban media still isn't very positive.
obama, cuba, media, portrayal
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2015-25-14
Monday, 14 Dec 2015 07:25 PM
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