CARTAGENA, Colombia – President Barack Obama says he is "hopeful" about the prospect of a transition in Cuba and says there may be an opportunity in the coming years for communist-run island to start "loosening up."
Obama says the U.S. would welcome a free Cuba. He says he is not a U.S. president who brings "a lot of baggage" to this issue and is willing to look at the problem in a fresh way.
Divisions over Cuba kept leaders at the Summit of the Americas from agreeing to a joint summit declaration. Some countries wanted to include language specifying that Cuba attend the next regional meetings, but the U.S. was opposed.
The U.S., which has a half-century long economic embargo on Cuba, says the communist-run island does not meet the summit's democratic standards.