U.S. media outlets on Sunday discussed the “historic” meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, saying it was a key milestone in a new era of relations between the two countries.
The daily Washington Post, which led in its online edition with the Saturday meeting of the two leaders at the 7th Summit of the Americas in Panama, said that the pair “symbolically ended more than a half-century of official estrangement between the United States and Cuba … in a historic-face-to-face meeting that Obama said put them on ‘a path toward the future.'”
“Obama’s welcome of Cuba here ended a long-standing irritant with Latin America, most of which mended fences with Cuba decades ago, and added a potential legacy issue to his presidency alongside a nuclear deal with Iran, assuming he is able to achieve it,” said the daily.
However, the paper also discussed Republican anger over the meeting, a reference to their disapproval with the administration’s new stance toward Havana and expressed on Saturday by a number of conservative presidential hopefuls including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and one of the senators from that state, Marco Rubio.
In another piece about the summit, the Post insisted that the meeting will be “remembered for its symbolism of reconciliation.”
Meanwhile, CNN emphasized the “surprising” words the Cuban leader uttered during his speech before the delegates from the 35 countries represented at the summit, calling Obama “an honest man,” with a “humble background” and for whom he expressed admiration.
The network emphasized the moment at which Castro, after citing a long list of perceived Cuban grievances against the United States, said that Obama should not be blamed for anti-Cuba policies implemented by 10 previous U.S. presidents.
The New York Times, in a lengthy article on the summit, also gave a discussion of the obstacles Obama faced at the previous hemispheric summit in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, in 2012, saying that this time around the president came to Panama “determined to change the dynamic with a series of overtures to Cuba.”
“For Mr. Obama, the summit meeting was a chance to showcase progress toward a goal he aspired to during the first Latin American summit meeting he attended – where he spoke of a ‘new beginning’ with Cuba even in its absence – and to clear away what had become a dysfunctional subtext of the meeting for generations of American presidents,” the daily said. EFE