Obama trip to Cuba, Argentina a golden opportunity to tackle mutual human rights shortfalls

US President Barack Obama’s historic state visits to Cuba and Argentina this week provide a golden opportunity to address some of all three countries’ main human rights challenges, said Amnesty International.

If Presidents Obama, Castro and Macri fail to discuss their countries’ questionable human rights records and agree on meaningful steps to make substantial improvements, they will go down in history as the leaders who chose to ignore the suffering of million
Erika Guevara-Rosas

 Top concerns include the mistreatment of migrants in the USA, the lack of freedom of expression in Cuba and the repression of social leaders in Argentina.

“If Presidents Obama, Castro and Macri fail to discuss their countries’ questionable human rights records and agree on meaningful steps to make substantial improvements, they will go down in history as the leaders who chose to ignore the suffering of millions instead of being the catalysts for change,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Background

US President Barack Obama will be in Cuba between 20 and 22 March to meet President Raúl Castro. On 24 March he will be travelling to Argentina to meet President Mauricio Macri. He will be in the South American country on the 40th anniversary of the 1976 coup d’etat – when tens of thousands of people were held in illegal detention centres, tortured ad many were forcibly disappeared.

Amnesty International has sent an open letter to the three Presidents outlining some of the organization’s main human rights concerns in these countries. The letter is available on: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr01/3666/2016/en/