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Obama and Cuba Quotes: 10 Times President Has Spoken on Relations

By    |   Monday, 30 Nov 2015 06:40 PM

Since President Barack Obama came to office, he has made overtures toward Cuba and it has been his administration’s aim to change U.S. government policy on the communist regime of the island.

In December 2014, he ordered the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba and in April 2015 he took Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

During his presidency, Obama has spoken many times on Cuba and the future relationship between the two neighbors. Here are 10 quotes from times the president has spoken on relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

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1. In a White House address on Dec. 17, 2014, Obama outlined the changes in policy beginning with: “Today the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba.”

2. During an April 2015 message, Obama announced the dropping of Cuba from the terrorism list saying: “The government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding six-month period.”

3. Speaking from Jamaica in March 2015, Obama spoke of the speed of the changes: "I never foresaw that immediately overnight everything would transform itself."

4. After meeting with Raul Castro, Obama is quoted in The Washington Post as saying: “Over time, it is possible for us to turn the page and develop a new relationship between our two countries.”

5. During a Miami fundraiser in November 2013, Obama spoke of the possible changes that were on the way: "We have to be creative and we have to be thoughtful and we have to continue to update our policies."

6. Obama used his State of the Union address in January 2015 to outline his view of changes to U.S. policy on relations with Cuba: “In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date. When what you’re doing doesn’t work for 50 years, it’s time to try something new.”

7. In his first meeting with Raul Castro in Panama City in April 2015, Obama said of the relationship: “It was important for us to engage more directly with the Cuban government and the Cuban people.”

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8. Back in 2011, Obama was still talking tough on relations and is quoted by the BBC during a White House event: “And they certainly have not been aggressive enough when it comes to liberating political prisoners and giving people the opportunity to speak their minds.”

9. In a March 2015 interview with Reuters, Obama spoke of the changes that he thought were already happening: “We are going down a path in which we can open up our relations to Cuba in a way that ultimately will prompt more change in Cuba. And we’re already seeing it.”

10. The President issued a White House statement in March 2010 condemning Cuba’s treatment of its citizens: “Cuban authorities continue to respond to the aspirations of the Cuban people with a clenched fist.”

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Since President Barack Obama came to office, he has made overtures toward Cuba and it has been his administration's aim to change U.S. government policy on the communist regime of the island.
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2015-40-30
Monday, 30 Nov 2015 06:40 PM
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