Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Aside

Must-see TV: Cubans marvel at rare questioning of Raul Castro

Yesterday, in a historic first, President Barack Obama held a joint news conference in Havana with Cuba’s Raul Castro, where they not only delivered statements to the press, but took questions — something Castro is not used to doing.

It made for a media event that was awkward and testy at times.

Reporting on the news conference, the Associated Press focused on the reaction of the Cuban people, beginning its writeup with these words: “Cubans were glued to their televisions on Monday, many watching in a state of shock as President Raul Castro faced tough questions from American journalists who challenged him to defend Cuba’s record on human rights and political prisoners.”

Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere, meanwhile, offered a more thorough recounting of what happened at the news conference, adding useful context.

PBS has posted the video of the news conference for on-demand viewing.

Lastly, The Huffington Post has a roundup of how the state-controlled Cuban mass media is covering President Obama’s visit to Cuba.