NUEVA YORK (AP) — El presidente Barack Obama consideró el miércoles que las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba pueden progresar en los próximos cuatro años, y aseguró que está abierto a trabajar en ese ambiente de "progreso".

"Creo que sería bueno para los cubanos. Pero debe ser algo recíproco", dijo Obama a la cadena hispana Telemundo. "No puede ser que ignoremos totalmente las tristes circunstancias en las que viven muchos cubanos".

Las declaraciones del mandatario estadounidense aparecieron en una transcripción de una entrevista que le hizo Telemundo. Partes de la entrevista, que hicieron referencia a una posible reforma migratoria, fueron emitidas el miércoles por la noche. Se espera que los comentarios de Obama sobre Cuba sean emitidos el domingo.


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"Mi esperanza es que, de forma lenta pero segura, los líderes cubanos empiecen a reconocer que es hora de unirse al siglo XXI", dijo Obama. "Quiero decir que una cosa es tener autos de la década de 1950 y otra cosa es cuando toda tu ideología política tiene 50 o 60 años y está demostrado que no funciona".


Obama también destacó las "aperturas" de Estados Unidos hacia la isla, incluida la facilitación de remesas y la reducción de restricciones de viajes. Afirmó que estas medidas fueron buenas para los cubanos.


"Pero también hemos dicho que para que veamos una normalización de las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba tenemos que hacer algo con todos esos prisioneros políticos, que aún están allí. Tenemos que hacer algo sobre libertades básicas de la prensa y la asamblea", agregó.


El mandatario dijo que no espera que cada país opere de la misma forma que Estados Unidos, pero sí cree que se debe seguir buscando que los cubanos "tengan una voz en sus vidas".


Uno de los principales obstáculos para mejorar las relaciones entre ambos países durante la gestión de Obama habría sido el encarcelamiento del contratista estadounidense Alan Gross, quien cumple una sentencia de 15 años en Cuba tras ser descubierto cuando instalaba conexiones a internet clandestinas como parte de un programa de la Agencia para el Desarrollo Internacional de Estados Unidos (USAID).

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  • Just graduated doctors have their picture taken holding their diplomas after a graduation ceremony at the 'Karl Marx' theater in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, July 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • A man and a woman talk after their graduation as nurses outside the 'Karl Marx' theater in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, July 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • A Cuban man leaves on the back of a motorcycle driven by a friend after graduating as doctor at the 'Karl Marx' theater in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, July 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • In this picture taken July 6, 2012, Rogelio Alonso, 74, center, plows a piece of land using a pair of oxen in Los Palos, Cuba. Cuba grapples with having the oldest citizenry in Latin America, a phenomenon fueled by low birth rates and long life expectancies, plus the migration of young people and women. The government has already postponed the retirement age and is trying to create more homes and programs for the elderly, but still will have to handle the economic consequences of its increasingly graying population. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Retired taxi driver Jose Miguel, 69, carries one of his dogs to hand to a tourist in old Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. To supplement his pension Jose Miguel photographs tourists with his dogs. Cuba grapples with having the oldest citizenry in Latin America, a phenomenon fueled by low birth rates and long life expectancies, plus the migration of young people and women. The government has already postponed the retirement age and is trying to create more homes and programs for the elderly, but still will have to handle the economic consequences of its increasingly graying population.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • In this picture taken Aug 2, 2012, a couple dances at a senior center, that provides retirees with medical attention, meals and social activities, in Havana, Cuba. Cuba grapples with having the oldest citizenry in Latin America, a phenomenon fueled by low birth rates and long life expectancies, plus the migration of young people and women. The government has already postponed the retirement age and is trying to create more homes and programs for the elderly, but still will have to handle the economic consequences of its increasingly graying population.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • In this picture taken Aug 2, 2012, women dance at a senior center, that provides retirees with medical attention, meals and social activities, in Havana, Cuba. Cuba grapples with having the oldest citizenry in Latin America, a phenomenon fueled by low birth rates and long life expectancies, plus the migration of young people and women. The government has already postponed the retirement age and is trying to create more homes and programs for the elderly, but still will have to handle the economic consequences of its increasingly graying population.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Cubans pose for a picture on a sidewalk in Guantanamo, Cuba, on the eve of the country's Revolution Day, Wednesday, July 25, 2012. Revolution Day marks the July 26, 1953 rebel attack led by Fidel and Raul Castro on the Moncada military barracks. The attack is considered the beginning of the revolution that culminated with dictator Fulgencio Batista's ouster. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Bartender Alejandro Bolivar prepares a daiquiri to help fill a giant fiber-composite cocktail glass at El Floridita tavern in Old Havana, Cuba, Saturday, July 21, 2012. The event was staged to honor the 195th anniversary of the bar, which means "Little Florida" in Spanish and bills itself as the "cradle of the daiquiri." The giant cocktail also honored the 113 years since the birth of its most famous frequent customer, Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway, of whom a life-sized sculpture sits barside. Legend has it that Hemingway, who took his daiquiris without sugar, once downed 13 doubles in one sitting. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

  • A boy jumps into the water at the Malecon in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, July 18, 2012.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)