Panama: Nothing wrong in having differences with Cuba – Obama

Cuba and the US are continuing to move towards a normalisation in relations, US President Barack Obama said in Panama City, Friday, noting that there will be differences government to government just as with the United States' closest allies. He also said that he hopes that the improving relationship between the two countries will help improve the lives of Cuban people. Speaking at the Forum of Civil Society and Social Actors on the side-lines of the 7th Summit of the Americas, Obama also noted that this is not for the sake of the US. Illustrating his Statement, the president named the support of an organisation that is helping minority groups inside Cuba get access to resources. The Forum of Civil Society and Social Actors is meant to be a forum for an inter-state dialogue and consultation on issues around civil society between participating countries. Cuba is participating for the first time, after its relationship with the US has improved since December 2014. However the summit has caused some controversy due to the fact that some 20 Cuban delegates were denied accreditation and withdrew from this year's forum as a consequence. The Venezuelan delegation also withdrew in support of Cuba shortly afterwards. The Cuban delegation had to repeat the accreditation process. More than 2,000 delegates from unions, social movements, indigenous groups and other organisations from across Latin America attended a counter-summit - the People's Summit - where Bolivian President Evo Morales expressed his support for Cuba and Venezuela, denouncing US ambitions and intervention in Latin America.