On Saturday, April 11, 2015, His Excellency United States President Barack Obama and His Excellency Cuban President Raúl Castro held the first meeting between leaders of their two countries in more than 50 years as part of ongoing efforts to restore diplomatic relations. The meeting was held while both leaders attended the 35-nation Summit of the Americas in Panama, where Cuba was invited to attend for the first time in the summit’s 20-year history. During his remarks, President Obama stated “Over time, it is possible for us to turn the page and develop a new relationship between our two countries.” President Castro praised President Obama’s honesty and courage in taking steps to increase trade with Cuba and in making travel between the two countries easier. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was one of many leaders who welcomed the developing Cuban-US friendship, indicating that improved bilateral relations is good for the region. Her Excellency stated, “The two presidents have shown the progress that can be made when we learn the lessons of the past.”
We join the United States and Cuba, and all the nations of the Americas in applauding and celebrating the growing friendship between the US and Cuba and pray that it may strengthen an enduring peace across the region.
Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon