Posted on Sun, Apr. 19, 2009
Transcript of Obama news conference
WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE
THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago)
Following are the three bits pulled from the Press Conference that were of the most interest to me personally:
[ "But one of the things that I mentioned in both public remarks as well as private remarks is that the United States obviously has a history in this region that's not always appreciated from the perspective of some, but that what we need to do is try to move forward, and that I am responsible for how this administration acts and we will be respectful to those democratically elected governments, even when we disagree with them." ]
This is the Obama version of the end of history; he labels it 'moving forward.' But this isn't going to take place when all the structures, forms and even the actual personages are all still in place who have created that "perspective of some," that the U.S. is a military bully operating for U.S. and multi-national corps' interests, first-second-third-and-only, that tortures, that commits and supports massacres as in Guatamala -- well we can go on, can't we.
[ "One thing that I thought was interesting -- and I knew this in a more abstract way but it was interesting in very specific terms -- hearing from these leaders who when they spoke about Cuba talked very specifically about the thousands of doctors from Cuba that are dispersed all throughout the region, and upon which many of these countries heavily depend. And it's a reminder for us in the United States that if our only interaction with many of these countries is drug interdiction, if our only interaction is military, then we may not be developing the connections that can, over time, increase our influence and have -- have a beneficial effect when we need to try to move policies that are of concern to us forward in the region." ]
Amen, Brother O. But nevermind, you'll just go on to repeat the same old same old though you insist it's the end of history, er, a fresh start.
[ "Look, what I said and what I think my entire administration has acknowledged is, is that the policy that we've had in place for 50 years hasn’t worked the way we want it to. The Cuban people are not free. And that's our lodestone, our North Star, when it come to our policy in Cuba.
It is my belief that we're not going to change that policy overnight, and the steps that we took I think were constructive in sending a signal that we'd like to see a transformation. But I am persuaded that it is important to send a signal that issues of political prisoners, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, democracy -- that those continue to be important, that they're not simply something to be brushed aside.
What was remarkable about the summit was that every leader who was participating was democratically elected. We might not be happy with the results of some elections; we might be happier with others; we might disagree with some of the leaders, but they all were conferred the legitimacy of a country speaking through democratic channels. And that is not yet there in Cuba.
Now, I think that as a starting point, it's important for us not to think that completely ignoring Cuba is somehow going to change policy, and the fact that you had Raul Castro say he's willing to have his government discuss with ours not just issues of lifting the embargo, but issues of human rights, political prisoners, that's a sign of progress.
And so we're going to explore and see if we can make some further steps. There are some things that the Cuban government could do. They could release political prisoners. They could reduce charges on remittances to match up with the policies that we have put in place to allow Cuban merican families to send remittances. It turns out that Cuba charges an awful lot, they take a lot off the top. That would be an example of cooperation where both governments are working to help Cuban families and raise standards of living in Cuba." ]
I'd like to see all this implemented right here in the U.S., including the closing of our secret prisons and secret arrest and stocking of those prisons with political prisoners, who still seem to be tortured, among other things. I'd like to see these same policies implemented then, that Cuba is being ordered to implement, with China and North Korea and many, many other of this nation's 'friends.' I loathe this nation's lying hypocrisy.