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Cuban Leader Raul Castro Hosts State Dinner For President Obama

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty

President Barack Obama understands what it means to be attacked by critics. It seems like no matter what he does, he cannot win to lose with The Right.

Their newest issue was the fact that during Obama’s recent trip to Cuba, instead of returning back to the States after news hit of the terrorist attacks in Belgium killing more than 30, he attended a minor league baseball game on Wednesday. GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz has been the loudest voice opposing the President’s actions. During a new conference in D.C. he lauded that “President Obama should be back in America keeping this country safe. Or president Obama should be planning to travel to Brussels.”

Well, President Obama cleared the air, explaining why he attended the game that afternoon, ABC reported.

President Obama told ESPN, “The whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives…It’s always a challenge when you have a terrorist attack anywhere in the world,” he said.

The president also shared that his “proudest moments as president” were how Boston, especially the city’s baseball team the Red Sox, came together during the 2013 terrorist Marathon bombings. “When [David] Ortiz went out and said probably the only time that America didn’t have a problem with somebody, a person on live TV, was when he talked about Boston, how strong it was and that it was not going to be intimidated,” Obama said.

In addition, referencing baseball legend Jackie Robinson, Obama stressed that athletics are a great force in bringing about social change. “[Sports] can change attitudes sometimes in ways that a politician can never change, that a speech can’t change,” he said.

He added, “All of those kids who started growing up watching the Brooklyn Dodgers, suddenly they’re rooting for a black man on the field and how that affects their attitudes laying the groundwork for the civil rights movement that’s a legacy that all of us have benefited from, black and white and Latino and Asian.”

The First Family’s visit was the first time in nearly 90 years that a sitting U.S. president has walked on the island’s shores.

This trip was crucial opportunity for the U.S. and Cuba to work on mending their fractured relationship. Just 15 months ago, POTUS announced that the two countries would restore diplomatic ties after being at odds for some 50 years thanks to heavily sanctioned embargoes handed down during John F. Kennedy’s presidency.

Cuban President Raul Castro, who attended the game with the Obamas, said that POTUS’ visit was a sign that good things are to come between the two countries. “We agree that a long and complex path still lies ahead. What is most important is that we have started taking the first steps to build a new type of relationship, one that has never existed between Cuba and the United States,” he said. 


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