Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega told the Summit of the Americas — and president Obama — yesterday he was “ashamed” to attend the meeting because of “the absence of Cuba.”
Ortega said that Cuba’s “crime has been that of fighting for the independence and sovereignty” of people in the region and complained that Cuba has been “punished, penalized and excluded.”
Of ourse: Fidel Castro is a freedom fighter just like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
President Obama’s reaction to all of this?
“The United States seeks a new beginning with Cuba,” he said at the Summit of the Americas opening ceremony. “I know there is a longer journey that must be traveled to overcome decades of mistrust, but there are critical steps we can take toward a new day.”
President Obama’s address included this:
I know that promises of partnership have gone unfulfilled in the past, and that trust has to be earned over time.
While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms. But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership. (Applause.)
There is no senior partner and junior partner in our relations; there is simply engagement based on mutual respect and common interests and shared values. So I’m here to launch a new chapter of engagement that will be sustained throughout my administration.