U.S. President Barack Obama pushed Cuba to improve its record on democracy and human rights during historic visit to the island nation with President Raul Castro decrying U.S. ''double standards''. Nathan Frandino reports.
U.S. President Barack Obama's historic visit to Cuba and his welcoming by Cuban President Raul Castro may have been respectful, but the meeting behind closed doors -- both leaders admitted -- was frank and candid. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "We continue, as President Castro indicated, to have some very serious differences, including on democracy and human rights." The differences were aired openly at a news conference in Havana Monday. Castro pushed back at what he called U.S. "double standards." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN PRESIDENT RAUL CASTRO SAYING: "We oppose the political manipulation and double standard of human rights." Obama's visit to Cuba is the first for a sitting U.S. president in nearly 90 years. The trip comes after secret talks led to a 2014 agreement to normalize relations. The two countries have agreed to some issues, like fighting drug trafficking and battling health concerns like the Zika virus. But hurdles remain with Obama continuing to call for democracy and Castro focused on ending the embargo. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN PRESIDENT RAUL CASTRO SAYING: "Its elimination will be essential for normalizing bilateral relations." Obama will continue his trip on Tuesday, delivering a speech live on Cuban television and attending a baseball game between Cuba's national team and the Tampa Bay Rays.