On Saturday, Obama and Castro sat down together in the first formal meeting of the two countries’ leaders in a half-century, pledging to reach for the kind of peaceful relationship that has eluded their nations for generations.
“What we have both concluded is that we can disagree with a spirit of respect and civility,” Obama said. “And over time, it is possible for us to turn the page and develop a new relationship between our two countries.”
Castro, for his part, said he agreed with everything Obama had said — a stunning statement in and of itself for the Cuban leader. But he added the caveat that they had “agreed to disagree” at times. Castro said he had told the Americans that Cuba was willing to discuss issues such as human rights and freedom of the press, maintaining that “everything can be on the table.”
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