White House to Cuba: Now Is the Time ‘to Match Actions With Words’

By MichaelJames

Apr 18, 2009 3:30pm

From Sunlen Miller:

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today that the administration remains anxious to see what the Cuban government will do next in responding to the United States’ actions this week.

“We will continue to evaluate and watch what happens,” Gibbs told reporters today, “We’re anxious to see what the Cuban government is willing to step up to do.”

Gibbs noted that now is the time for more than just speeches and rhetoric.

“Actions are always going to speak louder than words regardless of how long those speeches are — and … we’re anxious to see the actions of the Cubans,” Gibbs said, “The smiles and handshakes and the desire of one leader to say to the president that he wants to be his friend, again, is a wonderful opportunity to match actions with words. And the president and others in the administration will be anxiously awaiting those new actions."

As the administration has been pushing in its five day swing to Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago, where Cuba policy dominated much of the discussion, Gibbs gave specific examples of what actions the United States would like to see Cuba move on: releasing political prisoners, stopping the taking of money from remittances and improving freedom of the press.

Gibbs said that the president has been “pleased with the reaction” thus far from the Cuban government, but added, once again, that the United States is anxious to see what the government does next.

-Sunlen Miller

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