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obama's message to cuba

By unknown | Oct 26, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

MADRID - US President Barack Obama asked Spain to send Cuba a message about reform when he met Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero earlier this month, the newspaper El Pais reported yesterday.

Six days after their meeting on October 13 at the White House, Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos visited the Caribbean island and met President Raul Castro.

"Have (Moratinos) tell the Cuban authorities we understand that change can't happen overnight, but down the road, when we look back at this time, it should be clear that now is when those changes began," Obama told Zapatero, according to diplomatic sources quoted by El Pais.

"We're taking steps, but if they don't take steps too, it's going to be very hard for us to continue," Obama said.

Obama, pictured, has pledged a "new beginning" in ties with Cuba as part of a new era of US partnership and engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean.

No one from the Spanish government was immediately available to comment on the report.

Moratinos met Castro on October 19 and said the communist leader had affirmed his commitment to economic reform and expressed his desire to continue improving relations with the US.

Spain, one of Cuba's biggest trading partners, has highlighted improved relations between the European Union and the island as one of its priorities when it takes over the rotating EU presidency in January. - Reuters


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