This month, President Obama visited Cuba, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so since 1959.
The President has been criticized for normalizing the U.S. relationship with Cuba, in light of the country’s Communist regime and human rights abuses. That list of abuses, according to a 2015 report by Human Rights Watch, includes arbitrary detentions, keeping political prisoners, restricting freedom of expression, and travel restrictions.
In a speech given in Cuba, President Obama encouraged more freedoms for the Cuban people, including some that Americans take for granted, protected as they are by the Bill of Rights:
- Equality under the law
- Freedom of speech without fear of retaliation
- The right to gather and peacefully protest
He also called for greater internet access: “If you can’t access information online, if you cannot be exposed to different points of view, you will not reach your full potential, and over time, the youth will lose hope.”
Learn Liberty has been a strong advocate of the importance of free speech through our #SpeakFreely campaign, encouraging students to celebrate the importance of their right to free expression by sharing their opinions on important, and sometimes controversial, topics. You can learn more about free speech here, or check out the playlist below.