Remarks to the Cuban Ambassador and the President of the Cuban Social and Economic Union.
I am not only gratified but very much touched at your coming here. It is a splendid thing for you to do, and it proves that something that we have always wanted has worked out.
One has an ideal and wants to put it into effect. We tried two and a half years ago to establish a principle—a principle that two Nations, side by side, ought to be good neighbors. The next thing we did was to try to work out some practical demonstration of the value of the policy of the good neighbor.
People said that a trade agreement would not accomplish anything, that a trade agreement would not work; but we put it through. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
What pleases me particularly is that the economic revival in Cuba has come so quickly, even more quickly than we hoped when the trade agreement was signed. From all I hear from friends in Cuba and from you, the improvement in economic conditions is not merely at the top, but it extends down. Wages are better, and you have a better purchasing power. It is a very, very fine thing.
Some day I am not only coming to Havana, but I am going into the interior of the country. I used to know it in the old days, twenty years ago.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Remarks to the Cuban Ambassador and the President of the Cuban Social and Economic Union. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/209007