“The United States of America Is Changing Its Relationship With the People of Cuba”

President Obama Speaks in the Cabinet Room of the White House on December 17, 2014

At noon today, President Barack Obama announced that the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people.

President Obama said that the United States is renewing its leadership in the Americas and stated that he has taken additional measures aimed at supporting the ability of the Cuban people to gain greater control over their own lives and determine their country’s future. – See more at: http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2014/12/17/united-states-america-changing-its-relationship-people-cuba#sthash.qYCGlxiq.dpuf
President Obama said that the United States is renewing its leadership in the Americas and stated that he has taken additional measures aimed at supporting the ability of the Cuban people to gain greater control over their own lives and determine their country’s future. – See more at: http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2014/12/17/united-states-america-changing-its-relationship-people-cuba#sthash.qYCGlxiq.dpuf
President Obama said that the United States is renewing its leadership in the Americas and stated that he has taken additional measures aimed at supporting the ability of the Cuban people to gain greater control over their own lives and determine their country’s future. – See more at: http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2014/12/17/united-states-america-changing-its-relationship-people-cuba#sthash.qYCGlxiq.dpuf

President Obama said that the United States is renewing its leadership in the Americas and stated that he has taken additional measures aimed at supporting the ability of the Cuban people to gain greater control over their own lives and determine their country’s future.

President Obama said that the United States can do more to support the Cuban people, and promote our values, through engagement.

President Obama thanked His Holiness Pope Francis for his support, the Government of Canada, and a bipartisan group of congressmen who worked for a new approach to advance our interests in Cuba.

In closing, President Obama said, “Change is hard –- in our own lives, and in the lives of nations…[W]e are making these changes because it is the right thing to do.”

In a statement, the Secretary said, “Today’s step also reflects our firm belief that the risk and the cost of trying to turn the tide is far lower than the risk and cost of remaining stuck in an ideological cement of our own making.”