Obama Hails ‘New Day’ In US-Cuba Relations

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Havana: On a landmark visit to Havana, US President Barack Obama on Monday hailed a “new day” — a “nuevo dia” — in relations between the decades-long Cold War foes.

Trying to draw a line under past heavy-handed US intervention in the island’s affairs, Obama vowed that “Cuba’s destiny will not be decided by the United States or any other nation.”

Standing beside Cuba’s communist President Raul Castro, Obama said that the US would continue to stand up for democracy, but would focus on the future, not the past.

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That sentiment was echoed by Castro, who acknowledged “profound differences between our countries that will not go away,” but vowed to work on “those things that bring us closer.”

Castro did however insist that ending a long-standing US economic embargo and returning Guantanamo to Cuba were conditions for closing the chapter on long-standing enmity. AFP