Raul Castro: 'President Obama is an honest man'

Raul Castro, Barack Obama
(Image credit: (AP Photo/Host Broadcaster Pool Video via AP Video))

Speaking at the Summit of the Americas on Saturday, Cuban President Raul Castro absolved President Barack Obama of any role in the decades-long rift between the United States and Cuba, saying, "President Obama is an honest man," The Associated Press reports.

Castro spent nearly an hour listing Cuba's grievances against the U.S., before apologizing and noting that he still becomes emotional when speaking about the revolution. The speech came ahead of an expected sit down between the two presidents, to discuss improving diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Such a meeting would be the highest-level U.S.-Cuba talks since Vice President Richard Nixon and Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro met in April 1959.

For his part, Obama reiterated his desire to work toward normalized relations between the two countries.

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"The Cold War has been over for a long time," he said. "And I'm not interested in having battles frankly that started before I was born."

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