President Obama took a question about Cuba on Monday in a meeting with reporters about an education initiative. I can’t find a transcript; the most extensive quotes are in the Herald’s story:
“I think that any release of political prisoners, any economic liberalization that takes place in Cuba, is positive – positive for the Cuban people in particular,” Obama said. “But we have not yet seen the full results of these promises. There are still too many political prisoners in Cuba that are languishing in jails only because they have differing views from the Cuban regime”
Obama said he is interested in more openings to the island -- but the government must show that it is changing.
“We already initiated some significant changes around remittances and family travel. But before we take further steps, I think we want to see that in fact the Castro regime is serious about a different approach,” he said. “And our guiding light in judging whether or not they’re serious about that different approach is libertad; whether there’s greater freedom inside of Cuba.”
One can’t read too much into a brief response to a question at an event about another subject altogether. But if the President was trying to keep everyone guessing, he did so very skillfully. From his comments it’s impossible to tell just how aware he is of changes taking place in Cuba, what he thinks of them, or what degree of change would have to take place to prompt a response from the United States. Clear as mud, all options open. It’s enough to make you think he wants to just get past the election before sending any signal at all.