Obama “welcomes criticism” from communist leader on areas where America is falling short..
President Obama and Cuban dictator Raul Castro appeared together in a joint press conference Monday in Havana, Cuba, where Obama said he welcomed Castro’s criticism of the United States.
“I actually welcome President Castro commenting on some of the areas where he feels that we’re falling short, because I think we should not be immune or afraid of criticism or discussion as well,” Obama said.
A reporter had questioned Castro about why he won’t release political prisoners.
“President Castro I think has pointed out that in his view making sure that everybody’s getting a decent education or health care, has basic security in old age, that those things are human rights as well,” Obama said.
“I personally would not disagree with him, but it doesn’t detract from some of these other concerns, and the goal of the human rights dialogue is not for the United States to dictate to Cuba how they should govern themselves but to make sure that we are having a frank and candid conversation around this issue, and hopefully that we can learn from each other,” he said.
“Economics, health, scientific exchanges, international cooperation on issues of regional as well as global import are also important, but this is something that we are going to stay on, and I actually welcome President Castro commenting on some of the areas where he feels that we’re falling short, because I think we should not be immune or afraid of criticism or discussion as well,” Obama added.
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