Tuesday, March 22, 2016

President Obama's full speech in Cuba today.

Courtesy of PBS:  

The speech was carried live by Cuban state television, giving Obama a chance to speak directly to the Cuban people. Cuban President Raúl Castro sat in the balcony of the theater, where he heard Obama issue a tough rebuke of the Cuban regime's crackdown on dissent. 

"I believe citizens should be free to speak their minds without fear," Obama said. 

He went on to acknowledge the many struggles of American democracy — how it is still dealing with the scars of slavery, how there is too much money in politics. Obama used himself as an example of why a democratic system works. When he was born, he said, it would have been illegal for his mother and father to marry. 

But people organized and they protested and they debated the issue, Obama said. And today, he is the first black president. 

"We, like every country, need the space that democracy gives us to change," Obama said. 

Then he addressed Castro directly. "You do not need to fear a threat from the United States," Obama said. 

"You do not need to fear the different voices of the Cuban people."

I watched this speech this morning while I was trying to get my work done.

I have to tell you that I stopped several times and just stared at this man as he talked about the bright future the Cuban people could have with America's help, and I am not ashamed to tell you that I got emotional a couple of times.  

This man will be missed. 


  1. It truly is moving to observe Obama. Sometimes, there are no words. Just awe.

  2. Anonymous11:57 AM

    It was amazing. This Cuba trip has been so important. Of course CNN and MSNBC aired it and they had a split screen picture to show what was happening in Brussels, but Fox saw absolutely no reason to show the speech or even a silent picture as they talked instead about Brussels. At one point they had several pics on their screen and none were of the pres. They talked about Obama as being an idiot for being in Cuba and they couldn't believe he hadn't immediately flown back here to the US. The complaints went on and on.

  3. This is a momentous speech. I have lived longer, much longer than most of IM's readers: never thought I'd see LGBT marriage equality! never thought a man would stand on the moon! never thought the Cold War would end (I went through drills at grade school, getting under our little desks), in fact, expected to be blown up before I grew up; never thought the Vietnam War could be stopped by protesting in the streets...

    And I never thought America would reconcile with Cuba. But these huge changes and accomplishments did happen because people didn't get cynical, weren't naive either: but they had hope and they elected a statesman who could see hard-line embargos with Cuba weren't working.

    Obama said, "It is time to leave the past behind." And that he "has called on Congress to lift the embargo..."
    to which he got a standing ovation. Now it is up to a right-wing majority congress to vote on lifting the embargo. What are the chances? Zero to none is the right-wing media continues to call him an idiot.

    Democrats out there: VOTE a democratic ticket, all down the line.

    I voted in the Democrats Abroad along with 34,500 others in the Primary and 69% of us wanted Bernie. I believe that both parties must put forth a candidate with passion.

    1. Anonymous12:59 PM

      I agree, Barbara, enough is enough.
      I am 59 years old this year.

    2. When our new, young Canadian Prime Minister was asked why his cabinet was gender-equal after his election last October, he said, "It's 2015." His simple answer went viral.

      Well, Republican Congress, it's 2016, not 1816. It's time to put aside your tantrums and start to govern. For starters. Lift the embargo on Cuba and vote on a new Supreme Court Judge nominee.

  4. Anonymous12:41 PM

    It was the Speech I've yearned for, and summed up all that Mr. Obama has tried to tell us through the years. It made me stand tall and proud and say "hell yes!", and I wished that we could all feel such hopefulness in our hearts. I have long felt the way he represented us, as good, flawed, struggling, and determined to live indivisible despite our differences and our difficulties.
    Thank you Mr. Obama, from the bottom of my soul.
    And, not to take the moment away, I can't help but compare this speech with the Washingtom Post interview with Donald Trump. Night and day. I love my President and his family.

  5. eclecticsandra12:42 PM

    Has anyone else noticed how much darker Obama's skin appears on the Cuban news? Lighting? filters?

    1. Anonymous1:05 PM

      I noticed that too! Also, the fact that MSNBC was the only outlet that ran President Obama's speech in Cuba! He truly is a good man!

    2. Anonymous1:17 PM


  6. 66gardeners12:51 PM

    This is being described as a normalization of relations between the US and Cuba. Why would anyone have a problem with that? History books will not be kind to republicans.

  7. Anonymous12:53 PM


    1. I was just reading that this morning. Harper's Magazine. April 2016, "Legalize it All" by Dan Baum.

      John Ehrlichman (Watergate co-conspirator) said, "...the Nixon White House [in 1968] had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people...we knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or [be] black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying bout the drugs? Of course we did."

      Interviewer Baum wrote, "I must have looked shocked. Ehrlichman just shrugged."

      Is it any wonder, most Americans don't trust their government? We get the government we deserve if we let Republicans keep/gain control.

      Nixon's and Bush's legacies live on. It will take many, many years of progressive leadership to counter their evils.

  8. Anonymous1:00 PM

    Thanks, Obama!!!! :-)

  9. Anonymous1:03 PM

    I, too, loved the speech! President Obama is such an outstanding man.

    It's so sad we have the likes of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz wanting to be POTUS! I doubt either of them will be elected, but it is a fact that we are going to sorely miss President Obama (and VP Biden)!

  10. Anonymous2:12 PM

    Once out of the White House, he will be
    free of constraints. His accomplishments
    for the good of our country and the world
    will continue to be even more awesome.
    I bet he would say, "I'm not tired. Heck,
    I'm just getting started. You haven't seen anything yet!" That goes for our beautiful First Lady also! I do hope he takes a golf
    vacation first though , and he and Mrs.
    Obama, lots of date nights!

  11. Anonymous3:45 PM

    And thanks to terror in Brussels, no in will hear it.

  12. Anita Winecooler5:27 PM

    What an amazing man, I think it's safe to say he more than deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. He's the smartest man in any room, humble, with a firm grasp of history and the remarkable ability to find just the perfect words.

  13. Great Daily Kos article Re. Obama not coming home at the first sign of goings on, in Belgium.

  14. Anonymous7:55 AM

    To 3:45PM They don't have to hear it.
    They already know it, including me!


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