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President Obama and Castro call for an end to Cuba embargo


Relations between the United States and Cuba could enter a new phase of openness following the historical meeting between President Barack Obama and Raul Castro of Cuba.

President Obama urged Cuba to improve on its human rights record and added that the full flowering of the relationship would only happen with progress on the issue of rights.

However, sharp disagreements over the political values that have divided the two countries for decades emerged when President Raul Castro decried American “ double standards” about human rights.

On the economic front, the leaders discussed ways to the end a 54-year-old economic embargo on Cuba so that economic ties between the two countries can improve.

Obama, the first U.S. president to visit Cuba in 88 years, agreed in 2014 to improve relations with the former Cold War foe.

But he is under pressure at home to push Castro’s government to allow political dissent and to further open its communist economy.

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