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Reaching Out to the Cuban People

Today Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced a change in US policy towards Cuba
download .mp4 (656.9 Mb) | read the transcript
Today Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was joined by Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council Dan Restrepo -- who spoke in Spanish -- in announcing a change in US policy towards Cuba at the Daily Press Briefing:
MR. GIBBS:  Good.  Before we do our regularly scheduled program, I’ve got a short announcement.  And I am joined for the bilingual portion of this announcement by Dan Restrepo, a Special Assistant to the President and a Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council.
Today, President Obama has directed that a series of steps be taken to reach out to the Cuban people to support their desire to enjoy basic human rights and to freely determine their country’s future.  The President has directed the Secretaries of State, Treasury and Commerce to carry out the actions necessary to lift all restrictions on the ability of individuals to visit family members in Cuba, and to send them remittances.  He’s further directed that steps be taken to enable the freer flow of information among the Cuban people and between those in Cuba and the rest of the world, as well as to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian items directly to the Cuban people.
In taking these steps to help bridge the gap among divided Cuban families and to promote the increased flow of information and humanitarian items to the Cuban people, President Obama is working to fulfill the goals he identified both during his presidential campaign and since taking office.
All who embrace core democratic values long for a Cuba that respects the basic human, political and economic rights of all of its citizens.  President Obama believes the measure he has taken today will help make that goal a reality.  He encourages all who share it to continue their steadfast support for the Cuban people.
MR. RESTREPO:  Thanks, Robert. 
Buenas tardes.
Hoy, el Presidente Obama ha ordenado que se tomen ciertas medidas, ciertos pasos, para extender la mano al pueblo cubano, para apoyar su deseo de vivir con respeto a los derechos humanos y para poder determinar su destino propio y el destino de su país.
El Presidente ha dado instrucciones a los secretarios de Estado, Comercio y Tesoro para que pongan en marcha las acciones necesarias para eliminar todas las restricciones a individuos para que puedan visitar a sus familiares en la isla y mandar remesas. Además ha dado instrucciones para que se tomen pasos para permitir el flujo libre de información entre el pueblo cubano y entre quienes están en Cuba y el resto del mundo, y para facilitar la entrega de recursos humanitarios enviados directamente al pueblo cubano.
Al tomar estas medidas para ayudar a -- cerrar la brecha -- la brecha entre familias cubanas divididas y promover el flujo libre de información y artículos de ayuda humanitaria para el pueblo cubano, el Presidente Obama está esforzándo por cumplir los objetivos que fijó durante la campaña y desde el asumio del cargo.
Todos aquellos que creen en los valores democráticos básicos anhelan una Cuba que respeta los derechos humanos, políticos, económicos, básicos de todo su pueblo. El Presidente Obama considera que estas medidas ayudarán a hacer realidad ese objetivo. El Presidente - El Presidente alenta a todos quienes comparten este deseo, que sigan cometidos a su firme apoyo para el pueblo cubano.
Read the fact sheet for all of the specifics, or see the memorandum sent by the President (pdf) to the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Commerce.