Now that U.S./Cuban relations are improving, many of the hot button issues that have kept the two nations at odds will likely be discussed. During a joint press conference with President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro, Castro was asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta about political prisoners being detained on the island nation.
CNN reported Castro “denied having political prisoners in his country,” saying:
“What political prisoners? Give me a name or names. After this meeting is over, you can give me a list of political prisoners, and if we have those political prisoners, they will be released before tonight ends.”
NewsOne Now panelist Cleo Manago questioned “if Assata Shakur is going to left alone,” and whether the new relationship between America and Cuba will open the door for U.S. authorities to apprehend the American dissident.
Roland Martin reminded viewers that Cuban officials have stated they will not turn Assata Shakur over to their jurisdiction.
Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever explained that though her extradition may be part of the American agenda, Cuban officials “will not fall for that.” She added that President Barack Obama “opened the door” for corporations to have “political cover” to pursue opportunities in Cuba, and it won’t be long before pressure is put on Congress “to make sure those doors are wide open for everybody.”
Odette Casamayor, Professor of Latin American Culture at the University of Connecticut, told Martin Cubans “could not believe” Pres. Castro’s reaction to Acosta’s question regarding political prisoners. She added that Cuban-Americans have sent Castro lists, because “everyone knows” there are political prisoners in Cuba.
Dr. Wilmer Leon would have preferred Castro to counter Acosta’s question by asking Pres. Obama, “What about Imam Jamil Al-Amin?”
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss United States and Cuban relations in the video clip above.
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