Cuba Will Broadcast Obama’s Havana Speech Live

Raul Castro and Barack Obama during a previous meeting.
Raul Castro and Barack Obama during a previous meeting.

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban state television will broadcast live the speech by Barack Obama to the Cuban people next Tuesday during his visit in Havana, announced Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Thursday, reported dpa news.

“President Obama will have the opportunity to directly address the Cuban people,” said Rodriguez. “His speech will be televised live,” he added. “Everyone can see his speech and everyone can form their own opinion on what he says.”

Obama is set to arrive in Havana on Sunday for a three day visit, a milestone in the thaw in US-Cuba relations. Besides meeting with his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, cardinal Jaime Ortega, a group of private entrepreneurs and another of dissidents, Obama will deliver a much awaited speech on Tuesday at the Havana Grand Theater.

Rodriguez said the event will be attended by a broad representation of “Cuban civil society.” The Cuban government refers to civil society as mass organizations on the island that support the Castro regime.

The foreign minister noted said his government does not know in advance the text of Obama’s speech.

All media in Cuba is owned by the state, which does not normally allow information critical of the government, its top leaders, or the country’s political and economic system.

Obama’s visit to Cuba, the second by a standing US president to Havana, is part of the historic thaw initiated by both countries in December 2014. The two countries resumed diplomatic relations in July of last year.

Another highlight of the trip will be Obama’s presence at the exhibition baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban National Team, set for 2:00 p.m. also on Tuesday, March 22.

10 thoughts on “Cuba Will Broadcast Obama’s Havana Speech Live

  • Based on reports on this site, it looks like I was wrong about how Cubans would receive a speech that did not acknowledge past abuses.

  • My guess is that his speech will contain a halfhearted apology of past US policy and an even more halfhearted admonishment of the Cuban government but mostly it will be lots of references to dawns of new eras of understanding and cooperation etc. We shall see.

  • Reread my comment. This time with the goal of understanding what you are reading. The prevailing criticism of my President (I voted for him twice) is that his response to Russia in the Ukraine, to Syria, to Iran, even North Korea is that he is weak and a poor negotiator. If he goes to Cuba to do nothing more than apologize for US policy, he will only add to that reputation. Ergo, flaccid and impotent. Your seething dislike of the US clouds your ability to understand what you are reading.

  • A half-century of punishing innocent Cubans to get revenge on Fidel Castro is what’s “flaccid and impotent.” If that’s not so, Moses, why is Fidel Castro about to celebrate his 90th birthday? He survived Batista and the Mafia, the Bay of Pigs, the embargo, and a world-record number of assassination attempts by some pretty good assassins, a fact registered by the Guinness Book of World Records. So, is he “flaccid and impotent” too or might those adjectives better define his heroic enemies?

  • This is quite a challenge for Obama and his speech writers. If they do not acknowledge the past relationship between the US and Cuba the speech will fall flat with many Cubans. But a full acknowledgment of past US abuses would be unpopular with many Americans. I will be watching with great interest.

  • I voted for Obama. ..twice. Election night 2008 brought tears to my elderly mother’s eyes. She marched with Dr. King and to live long enough to see a Black man in the White House overwhelmed her (and me) with joy. My wife is Cuban. I have every right to disagree with my President over his Cuba policy as I see fit.

  • Moses, your “pablum” is nothing short of Cold War propaganda about Cuba that has done so much to hurt everyday Cubans on the island while supposedly enriching and empowering selected Cuban-Americans. Obama is bravely and astutely trying to correct that abominable affront to America’s democracy, an affront that self-serving rogues could care less about, and an affront that the yearly 191-to-2 vote in the UN zeroes in on. Of course, benefactors from punishing Cubans on the island in the guise of “hurting Castro” and sanitizing Batista believe that a fringe element of Cuban exiles and their sycophants can forever hide behind the skirts of the world’s military and economic superpower to perpetuate their despicable Cuban policy. You assail and prejudge the decent and astute American president that is trying so hard…and somewhat successfully…to restore a modicum of democracy and respect to America’s Cuban policy. Therefore, shame on you for mocking his efforts.

  • I hope his speech has none of the pablum that your comment contains. He is the first representative of the oldest democracy on the planet. To bash the castros would be beneath his station but he should admonish the Castros for the disaster they have wrought for the Cuban people.

  • I am pretty sure President Obama, will spend this valuable opportunity to speak to the Cuban people about progress and moving forward and not spend his time trying to bash the Cuban government. President Obama and the rest of us who have a good understanding of what has been happening with Cuban American relations for the past 150 years and why things have had to play out pretty much the way they have don’t serve as an echo machine for the tired rhetoric of the Miami Batista crowd. The President obviously agrees with the Holy Father and wants prosperity, with respect for the Cuban people and I am pretty sure that is what he will say ?

  • This could be one of those speeches that historians will later say was a catalyst for real change in Cuba or it will be another nail in the coffin that claims that Obama’s foreign policy is flaccid and impotent. If you are the President of the United States and you can’t look Raul Castro in his wrinkled old face and say what needs to be said to stand up for freedom, then you really are a limp sausage.

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