By Patty Vila, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Cuba Expert, Sept. 29, 2015 – President Barack Obama will hold a formal meeting today with President Raul Castro.
Castro, 84 took over as president from his ailing brother, Fidel, provisionally in 2006 and completely in 2008.
The meeting comes on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly, a massive gathering of world leaders in New York.
This will mark the second face-to-face meeting between Obama and Castro since the U.S. and Cuba restored diplomatic relations late last year.
This past Saturday Castro spoke at the United Nations for the first time. He spoke about renewed diplomatic ties with the United States as major progress but slammed the U.S. trade embargo as the top obstacle for economic development.
The embargo can only be fully lifted by the U.S. Congress. Obama, has taken steps to ease the trade and travel restrictions. As a matter of fact the State Department is holding monthly calls for people that want to do business in Cuba. This allows an opportunity for people to call in and ask questions.
Castro told a U.N. summit of world leaders “The Embargo is the main obstacle to our countries economic development, while affecting other nations due to its extraterritorial scope, and hurting the interest of American citizens and companies.”
Cuba estimates that is has cost them 121 Billion in damage to their economy.