May 23rd, 2008
03:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama: Cuba policy to be based on 'libertad'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Obama attended a Cuban Independence Day event in Miami Friday."]
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama told Florida's Cuban American community Friday that his Cuba policy would be based on "libertad" and freedom for the island nation's people.

"The road to freedom for all Cubans must begin with justice for Cuba's political prisoners, the right of free speech, a free press, freedom of assembly, and it must lead to elections that are free and fair," Obama said. "That is my commitment."

"I won't stand for this injustice; you will not stand for this injustice, and together we will stand up for freedom in Cuba. That will be my commitment as president of the United States of America," the front-runner in the Democratic presidential race said during an address in to a Cuban American group in Miami, Florida.

Obama also said the policy for Cuba and the rest of Latin America would be guided by "the simple principle that what's good for the people of the Americas, is good for the United States."

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Florida
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    May 23, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. simith

    cubans donĀ“t want pre talks with castro and pre arrange`political talks with castro so what do they want military attack on cuba or how do they want to be free when no body is talking to each other ah i forgot they enjoy leaving in USA and prefer their families to go via mexico and make it to USA cuz as soon as they step thier legs in states they will be granted political asylum and be come one of us,so they will even prefer castro to rule till AMEN so they will always vote rep stupid people

    May 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. Annette

    And if we don't bring some sort of diplomacy to Cuba, then when? and for all those who feel he will not have preconditions??? it's call PPS for you folks. PREPARATION, PLANNING AND it.

    May 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. David, Paducah, Kentucky

    I'm just a 50 year old white guy from Kentucky, but I agree with Obama on this policy. The old policy that we have had with Cuba for what seems like forever just isn't working. Its time for a new approach. Obama is a breath of fresh air to a stale U.S. foreign policy.

    May 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. FEDUP

    This is the same policy we currently have in place, is it not? Where is the change?

    May 23, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. Steve from Florida

    Our current positions with Cuba have not been working. The only changes that have come to Cuba came when Castro stepped down – of old age.

    Say what you want about his appeasement or foreign policy, our current stance with Cuba is utter garbage and isn't working. At least he's willing to admit that.

    Sense '08

    And please stop posting in all caps. It just makes you look obnoxious.

    May 23, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Edryn

    I feel so sorry for the Clinton supporters who can't see the party for their candidate! Democrats WAKE UP! John McCain will:

    – Keep our soldiers dying in a war
    – Refuse a woman's right to choose
    – Keep the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy

    Is this what you really want! You would rather stay in the sad state of affairs that we are in then vote for the "other" democrat! You all sound like a bunch of STUPID 3rd graders and not patriotic adults!! This is such a sad state for out country!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Ken

    Seeing that Barack Hussein is only pandering for the votes and yet will sit down with Cuba's dictator without any prior conditions, shows truly where he stands!

    Barack Hussein will say and promise anything to get the votes to become the nominee. Even if Barack Hussein does get the nominee, he will not beat McCain in November. Barack Hussein lacks the talents, skills, knowledge and experience to be our president.

    I for one will either vote for McCain or "WRITE IN" Hillary Clinton's name if Barack Hussein does obtain the nominee.


    CLINTON 2008



    NO OBAMA!!

    May 23, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Pedeen

    Why America is loosing competitive advantage! people dont reason and think outside what the liberal media is telling them! its evident Americans never elect the president! instead he is annointed by the media. Since Mcain threw a party for the mediain Arizona they bonded!! they just turn a blind eye about everything wrong with Mcain. Please visit
    and find the best flip flopper ever!

    May 23, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. JB Cal

    Frankly, no resume I've been asking the same question about Hillary. Outside of dodging those snipers what exactly has she done ? She was real effective in getting that health bill through. I seem to recall her promising to get thousands of jobs for New York. How did that work out ?

    May 23, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. Daniel So Cal

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome (see current Cuba policy).

    Common sense seems to be lacking on the republican front. If there is no dialogue there is no communication; of course this is done all before the key players meet. If we never talk, then how will we ever know the other person.

    May 23, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  12. Clinton Dems for McCain

    Can any of you Obama supporters explain what Obama's foreign policy will be?

    I'm so confused. One day it's no preconditions, the next day there are preconditions.

    Help! My head is spinning.

    Could the problem be that Obama is winging it because he has no real policy?

    Fake it till you make Obambi.

    Hillary 08 or McCain.

    May 23, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. John in New York


    I completely love Obama as our next President, but this does sound eerily familiar to Bush's liberation talks.

    Forget about them!!

    They have free health care, free schooling on every level, and one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.

    Democracy might not work for everyone.

    Keep our noses out!!

    May 23, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Will in Richmond, VA

    yo ... Man. People are full of hate today.

    The US/ Cuba relationship has been in a stalemate for 50+ years, right? What would you do to change this? Is there reason to hope for change in Cuba since Fidel is now out of power? How would we know? Should we try? Are we strong enough to sue for peace and freedom using our heads and hearts instead of our bombs, planes, missiles, and threats?

    Can we find a way that we, the people of the western hemisphere, can all win? Can all find prosperity and freedom? Certainly hasn't happened up until now. Different approaches MUST be tried. We can't continue along the same path, doing the same things and expect different results. That's insanity

    May 23, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Alice

    The traditional Republican position has gotten the Cuban people nowhere. Obama brave willingness to try a different approach represents the kind of change this country needs. It is a breath of fresh air.

    If it doesn't work, we'll be no worse off.

    How long should we continue on a failing course?

    May 23, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Daniel, WA

    Obama has a big mouth. He is now trying to appeal to Cuban-americans. He has no substance. It is a hollow talk to get presidency & CNN is his regular media. Obama, Go away.

    May 23, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. blkjazz

    Silly silly Billaryites, please get real. For the first time in a long time someone is making sense about U.S. / Cuban relations. Put your antiquated racist views to the side for your own benefit if for no other reason.

    May 23, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. Cliff

    Senator Obama, by insults and barbs, has reduced the Democratic Party base to one-pronged bolstered by an "enthusiastic" but modest following of fellow "elitist intellectuals," whose combined numbers equate to disaster at the polls come November. Recent unwise ventures into the realm of pandering for the veterans' vote, a McCain lock, has shooed potentially greater numbers of voters fleeing to the GOP. Apparently, Mr. Obama wishes to try his luck with the Cuban-American voter which, unfortunately for him, will create more voters descending upon the GOP. By trashing the "Reagan" democrat, Senior Citizen, Women, etc., etc., within the ranks of the Democratic Party and now further alienating voters at large, including veterans and Cuban-Americans, Mr. Obama will need to create a new voting bloc sufficient in numbers and support to make up for the loss.

    May 23, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  19. Steve

    Many Cuban Americans living in Florida consist of families from the old Batista regime overthrown by Castro in 1959. They lost all their holdings to the revolutionaries and in no way will accept anything less than a "hard line" approach to the Castro government. Raoul Cantero, a Batists grandson, is a naturalized U.S. citizen and sits on the Florida Supreme Court. Sitting down and talking with the Cuban leadership will never sit well with Florida's Cubans.

    May 23, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  20. Swiss in Canada

    Amber: Why are you so afraid to be attacked on US soil? Who should?
    And why? Communist leader friends? O please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. Ramon

    You don't know what you're talking about Obama. Now you want to throw us a little Spanish "Libertad" and think that all of your rantings will be forgotten? Why don't you just tell us exactly what you'll tell Raul when you meet with him? Will you negociate forgiveness of his attrocities? Will you ask for my land back? Will you negociate for my Mother's remains? Will you?


    May 23, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. Meche La Loca

    Incredible. This guy Obama ES UN MENTIROSO.
    No Hillary vote McCain.

    May 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. aaron from minneapolis

    How many sore losers does America Have? Or let me ask another question, how many HRC supporters are in America?

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. BaWackjob

    This guy is a loon. Wants to canoodle with the leaders of Hamas, Syria, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Hezbollah. He thinks his smooth talk "rap" will get them to stop their wacky ways.

    The only thing scarier than BaWackjob Obama as a president is his loonie followers who buy into his snakeoil salesman spiel.

    "Can't we all just get along???"

    Obama/Rodney King '08!!!

    May 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. for realsies

    oh my gosh. youre killing my inner child, for real.

    k, i get it. you hate barack obama. you will never vote for him. you will write in clinton. you will write in mccain. obama is an unqualified, woman hating, jew hating, election fixin, caucus cheating, puppy beating intern. message received.

    May 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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