Ending a decades-long standstill in U.S.-Cuba relations, President Obama met Saturday with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, the first time the two nations’ leaders have sat down for substantive talks in more than 50 years.
The meeting on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas came as the two countries work to end the Cold War enmity that had led to a total freeze of diplomatic ties.
Castro, who earlier in the day said he trusted Obama, acknowledged there would be difficult stumbling blocks as his nation works to repair ties with the United States. But he said those differences could be surmounted.
“We are willing to discuss everything but we need to be patient, very patient,” Castro said. “We might disagree on something today on which we could agree tomorrow.”
On Friday night, Obama and Castro greeted each other courteously amid an explosion of camera flashes, shaking hands before dining at the inaugural session of the conference. The two sat at the same table but not directly next to one another.