HAVANA TIMES, March 17 — Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva repeated his call to the Obama administration on Monday to bring US foreign policy towards Latin America into the 21st century by eliminating the nearly 50-year blockade against Cuba.
Speaking in New York at an investment forum organized by The Wall Street Journal, Lula praised the elections Sunday in El Salvador that brought left-leaning journalist Maurico Funes to the presidency. He said the victory is more evidence of the wave of change sweeping Latin American politics.
Lula met on Saturday with President Obama and press reports noted that the two leaders hit it off quite well, in part from their mutual community organizing past.
The Brazilian leader has told Obama that the upcoming Americas Summit in Trinidad and Tobago (April 17-19) would be an ideal opportunity for the United States to begin a new, more respectful relationship with Latin America.
Lula has encouraged Obama to take a bold step and enter into productive talks with Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, three countries that were ostracized under the Bush administration.
To date Obama has yet to reveal whether he will act on Lula’s advice.