Wednesday, March 23, 2016

President Obama's Speech in Cuba

President Barack Obama's televised speech to Cubans on the island was a success given the reactions reported by the local press in Miami. The Miami Herald's Fabiola Santiago praised it as "masterful" and "a model display of leadership and humanity." Most notably, one of Miami's more hard-line radio station "La Poderosa" (WWFE 670 AM) re-broadcast the president's speech Tuesday evening. The announcement of the re-broadcast was made by the station's president himself, Jorge Rodriguez, speaking favorably of the speech. Other hard-line Cuban exiles may have given mixed reviews, but the more common reaction in Miami seemed positive.

El Nuevo Herald included an online poll of its readers asking "Do you believe Obama's message to the Cuban people will help create change on the island?" From a total of 777 readers, 71% said Yes, and 29% said No. A recent CBS/New York Times poll of Americans also showed major support for this administration's effort to restore diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba.

More Miami reactions to Obama's speech here and here.

Excerpt: "I’ve made it clear that the United States has neither the capacity nor the intention to impose change on Cuba. What changes come will depend upon the Cuban people. We will not impose our political or economic system on you. We recognize that every country, every people must chart its own course and shape its own model."

[Full transcript of speech]