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Obama cites U.S. election as sign of democracy's frustrations and progress

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 00:50

U.S. President Barack Obama alludes to the presidential election ''back home'' as a sign of democracy's frustrations and progress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) In a nationally televised speech to the Cuban people, U.S. President Barack Obama described democracy as both a frustration and a tool for progress, citing the current presidential election back home. "There are still some tough fights. It isn't always pretty, the process of democracy. It's often frustrating" Obama said in his roughly 35-minute speech which focused largely on pushing for greater political liberties in Cuba. "You can see that in the election going on back home." "But just stop and consider this fact about the American campaign that's taking place right now. You had two Cuban Americans in the Republican Party running against the legacy of a black man who is president while arguing that they're the best person to beat the democratic nominee, who will either be a woman or a democratic socialist. Who would have believed that back in 1959? That's a measure of our progress as a democracy," he added, referring to GOP senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida and their democratic rivals, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Speaking at Havana's Grand Theater with Cuban President Raul Castro in attendance in what White House officials touted as a crowning moment of Obama's visit, Obama extended a "hand of friendship." He declared that he had come to Havana to "bury the last remnant" of the Cold War in the Americas. But he also pressed for economic and political reforms, speaking in a one-party state where little dissent is tolerated. His address marked the final day of his trip, the first by a U.S. president to Cuba in 88 years. His presence in Havana was the culmination of a diplomatic opening that he and Castro announced in December 2014, ending decades of estrangement between Washington and Havana that began soon after Cuba's 1959 revolution.

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Obama cites U.S. election as sign of democracy's frustrations and progress

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 00:50