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Presidents of Cuba and the United States talked to the media and answered some questions. At the end of the press conference both presidents posed for pictures and Raúl said good bye to Obama at the staircase of the Palace of the Revolution.

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CUBA, March 21, 2016.- After the official meetings by Presidents of Cuba and the United States offered a press conference. The Cuban leader Raúl Castro said that in the 15 months following the announcement of the reestablishment of relations concrete results have been obtained, and that he is pleased to receive the United States President Barack Obama, 88 years after a president of that country travelled to the Island.  

He also mentioned that some cooperation ties have been materialized, especially in the field of telecommunications, in the purchase of medical equipment and for the protection of the environment, as well as the hand to hand work to fight disease like Zika and Cancer.

In reference to the steps adopted by President Barack Obama during his term of office, Raúl said that these are positive but not sufficient, and that others could be applied to make an important contribution to the lifting of the blockade. The dismantling of the blockade is essential because it remains in force and has intimidating effects of extraterritorial scope, he added.

For his part, Obama thanked the Cuban people for the welcome and commented that seeing a US President here in the island was unthinkable, but this is a new day. Likewise, he expressed in his speech that Cuba’s destiny will not be decided either by the US, or another country, Cuba’s future is sovereign and will be decided by Cubans and no one else.

Following more than five decades, the relationship between our governments is not going to change overnight, he said. Mutual respect is necessary to work well and improve the lives of our peoples, we have to speak in a direct manner, the US president added.

Meanwhile, in response to some questions, President Obama expressed that Cuba and the United States have two different systems of government and two different economies and decades of profound difference, but we are moving forward and we are not looking backward. (Taken from Granma)

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