He said Cuban jails are still filled with political prisoners and that the island’s leaders are clinging to a failed model. “It’s time to join the 21st century,” he said. “It’s one thing to have cars from the 1950s. It’s another thing when your whole political ideology .. is 50 years or 60 years old and it’s been proven not to work.”
Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez’s request for a new passport was granted on Thursday. Last year she was denied a “white card,” or exit permit, when she tried to travel to Brazil for a film festival, something she says has happened to her about 20 times in recent years. “Visas for (hashtag)Brazil and for the (hashtag)Schengen agreement nations arranged, they will be delivered to me next week,” Sanchez said on Twitter on Friday. The “Schengen area” is a region in Europe within which there are little or no border or visa controls between Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and France.
In her rebuttal of Obama, Vidal says America “can always count on the willingness of the people and government of Cuba to work to advance bilateral relations.”
Obama, in his Telemundo interview, said that he could foresee improved ties during his second term if Cuba meets him half way.