Castro urges Obama to lift more restrictions

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Barack Obama, Raul Castro_149536

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro during their meeting at the Palace of the Revolution, Monday, March 21, in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

HAVANA (AP) – Cuban President Raul Castro is calling on President Barack Obama to lift even more restrictions on Cuba.

He’s also urging the return of land used for the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

Castro says in a statement after Monday’s meeting with the U.S. president that he welcomes changes by Obama to allow commercial flights to resume and changes in the area of telecommunications, for example. But he says an economic blockade that remains in place is the “most important obstacle” to Cuba’s economic development and the well-being of the Cuban people.

Castro says he recognizes that Obama wants the blockade lifted entirely, but that Congress has refused to go along.

Castro spoke after meeting with Obama in Havana during Obama’s historic visit to the island nation.

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