- US President Barack Obama has promised to work together with the Cuban President to life the trade embargo on Cuba.
- Mr. Obama made this known at a historic press conference for the two presidents in Cuba.
US President Barack Obama has made a decision with Cuban President, Raul Castro to work assiduously to lift the embargo on US trade restrictions in Cuba.
This decision was arrived at after, Mr. Obama and the Cuban president Raul Castro held a historic joint conference, to take questions from the media.
The two leaders, despite having challenges over human rights related issues, agreed to work hand –in-hand to lift the embargo on trade with Cuba and that the Guantanamo Bay detention camp must close.
Mr Obama, the first sitting president to visit Cuba since 1959, said the trade embargo would be fully lifted. He added that Cuba's destiny will not be decided by the United States or any other nation but that the future of Cuba will be decided by Cubans not by anybody else.
Mr Obama could not say exactly when the trade embargo would be lifted, but recognised it was necessary. He added that the reason is what we did for 50 years did not serve our interests or the interests of the Cuban people.His administration has done what it can on lifting trade restrictions, he said, but further action will require Congress which is "not as productive in an election year".
He also said further easing of the trade embargo will depend on actions Cuba takes on human rights. Mr Obama said it is not just Cuba that the US has "deep disagreements" about human rights with - it also has disagreements with China and Vietnam.
Mr Castro took questions from reporters - a rarity for him. When asked about political prisoners in Cuba, Mr Castro denied it, telling journalists to "give him a list" and then they would be released "tonight". He also defended Cuba's record on human rights and pointed to problems in the US.
"We defend human rights, in our view civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are indivisible, inter-dependent and universal," Mr Castro said.
Mr. Obama visit to Cuba makes him the first US president to visit Cuba since the 1959 revolution, which marked decades of hostility