Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Cuba's Fidel Castro responds to Obama move
While reaction in the United States has been mixed, U.S. President Barak Obama's proposal of a change in policy toward Cuba has drawn positive feedback from Fidel Castro, the former Cuban leader. In a column published Tuesday on a government Web site, Castro called the changes "positive" but urged "many others" as well. "The measure of easing the restrictions on trips is positive although minimal," he wrote, according to the Reuters international news service. "Many others are needed." Castro has been Cuba's leader since the 1959 Communist revolution but ceded power last year to his brother because of ill health. He apparently is bouncing back. Castro complained in a column earlier in the day that the Obama administration had not done enough to end the United States' 47-year-old economic embargo of Cuba, which he called a form of genocide. "The conditions are created for Obama to use his talent in a constructive policy that puts an end to what has failed for the past half century," Castro said. A White House spokesman said the easing of travel and currency restrictions announced by Obama last week were meant to help families and promote human rights in Cuba. The White House announcement came just before the start of a Summit of the Americas regional conference scheduled for Friday in Trinidad & Tobago, where Obama could hear criticism from regional leaders unhappy with the U.S. policy toward Cuba.