Obama told Cuba that the volatile 2016 election is a perfect argument for American democracy

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

On the final day of his historic visit to Cuba this week, president Barack Obama spoke directly to the Cuban people in a speech that called for openness and democracy. “There are still enormous problems in our society,” Obama acknowledged, “but democracy is the way that we solve them.”

At the climax of his speech, Obama made the case that the 2016 US presidential race, which has been unpredictable and at times ugly, actually demonstrates the strength of America’s political system. For all the election’s unruliness, he said, the diversity of its candidates is “a measure of our progress as a democracy.”