Obama/Raul Castro Press Conference

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Obama/Raul Castro Press Conference
by Stephen Lendman
US leaders notoriously lecture other countries about human rights abuses, ignoring their own high crimes, unprecedented on a global scale, continuing from one administration to the next.
At a joint Monday press conference at Havana’s Palace of the Revolution following private discussions, President Raul Castro welcomed Obama ceremonially – despite major differences dividing both countries, unlikely to change given America’s rage for dominance.
At the same time, he stressed the importance of “civilized coexistence,” a notion spurned by Washington, a neighbor to be feared, not embraced, never trusted.
Obama is an unindicted war criminal, a shameless demagogue, a serial liar, unworthy of trust like his predecessors. 
Claiming “(t)he United States believes in democracy…(in) freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of worship” is belied by cold, hard facts.
War on humanity at home and abroad reveals America’s true agenda, unparalleled ruthlessness on a global scale.
Castro criticized US policies justifiably, stressing “profound differences between our countries that will not go away.”
“In our view, civil, economic, social and cultural rights are indivisible, interdependent and universal,” he said.
“We find it inconceivable that a government does not defend and secure the right to healthcare, equal pay and the rights of children. We oppose political double standards in the approach to human rights.”
Questioned by a reporter on so-called Cuban political prisoners, Castro responded asking: “What political prisoners? Give me a list…and I will release them immediately.”
A previous article explained individuals are imprisoned in Cuba for crimes, including espionage or accepting money from other nations for subversion, not political reasons like in America.
Castro called for returning Guantanamo, holding uncharged or falsely charged political prisoners on sovereign Cuban territory, the only place on the island where human rights are violated, and lifting an illegal half-century embargo Obama can end with a stroke of his pen.
He needs no congressional authorization as claimed. A previous article explained its authorization is based on the 1917 Trading With the Enemy Act (TWEA) – prohibiting trading with US enemies.
Cuba isn’t one as defined under TWEA. Neither country is at war with the other. No legal authority exists to maintain embargo. It continues in force because no US president has the courage to end it.
“The blockade is the most significant impediment for the development of the Cuban people,” Castro stressed. “That is why its elimination is essential for the normalization of relations.”
America is an imperial menace, a longstanding human rights abuser, not Cuba as falsely claimed. Fundamental freedoms are protected, human and civil rights respected, social justice guaranteed – including free world-class healthcare and education to the highest levels for all Cubans.
Americans can have whatever they want provided they’re able to pay for it, vital essentials unaffordable for growing millions. The world’s richest nation resembles a third world one for most of its citizens – prioritizing warmaking and corporate favoritism over social justice.
Obama declined to meet legendary iconic figure Fidel Castro, revered by millions worldwide. In August, he’ll be 90 years old. Days earlier, he met with Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro.
White House deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes said “(w)e’ve had no discussion about” meeting with Cuba’s former leader, “and we certainly wouldn’t seek it.”
Instead, Tuesday meetings with Cuban dissidents are planned, a shameless affront, longstanding US practice, notoriously supporting internal subversion.
Obama’s visit could have been historic. It’s changing nothing in US/Cuban relations. 
It’ll be remembered only as the first visit by an American president since 1928, not a breakthrough in bilateral relations – for sure not a positive change.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.