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Obama says he hopes to open embassy in Cuba before Panama summit

5:09pm EST - 01:28

During an exclusive interview with Reuters, U.S. President Obama says he hopes to open a U.S. embassy in Cuba, but a lot of work still needs to be done in restoring ties. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) In an exclusive interview with Reuters on Monday (March 2), U.S. President Barack Obama says he hopes to open a U.S. embassy in Cuba but a lot of work still has to be done in restoring ties. "My hope is that we will be able to open an embassy and that some of the initial groundwork will have been laid. Keep in mind that our expectation has never been that we would achieve full normalization immediately. There is a lot of work that still needs to be done, but we are going down a path in which we can open up our relations to Cuba in a way that ultimately will prompt more change in Cuba and we are already seeing it. The very fact that since our announcement, the Cuban government has begun to discuss ways in which they are going to reorganize their economy to accommodate for possible foreign investment. That's already forcing a series of changes that promises to open more opportunities for entrepreneurs, more transparency in terms of what is happening in their economy, and that's always been the premise of this policy, that after 50 years of a policy that didn't work we have to try something new that encourages and ultimately forces the Cuban government to engage in a modern economy and that will create more space for freedom for the Cuban people."

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Obama says he hopes to open embassy in Cuba before Panama summit

5:09pm EST - 01:28