Here are a series of widely diverse statements issued in the wake of the December 17th announcements by the presidents of the United States and Cuba about our new relationship.
“With the opening of diplomatic relations, a different road has certainly been laid out. For the first time in decades, a U.S. President has spoken about Cuba in a positive manner devoid of any outward hostility. For the first time in the long and contentious history between the U.S. and Cuba, our two countries may finally meet one another on truly equal terms.”
“The enormous joy of their families and of all our people, who have relentlessly fought for this goal, is shared by hundreds of solidarity committees and groups, governments, parliaments, organizations, institutions, and personalities, who for the last sixteen years have made tireless efforts demanding their release. We convey our deepest gratitude and commitment to all of them….
This in no way means that the heart of the matter has been solved. The economic, commercial, and financial blockade, which causes enormous human and economic damages to our country, must cease.”
For a more detailed presentation, see what is essentially Cuban President Raul Castro’s “State of the Union” or Annual Report for 2014. The first half addresses Cuba’s economy and elimination of its dual currencies; the second half addresses the new direction in US/Cuba relations.
“Some conservative criticisms of Obama’s new Cuba policy — which includes normalizing diplomatic and commercial relations, to the extent that presidential action can — seem reflexive. They look symptomatic of Cold War Nostalgia and 1930s Envy — yearnings for the moral clarity of the struggle with the totalitarians. Cuba’s regime, although totalitarian, no longer matters in international politics. As bankrupt morally as it is economically, the regime is intellectually preposterous and an enticing model only for people who want to live where there are lots of 1950s Chevrolets.”
“The best evidence that this change was long overdue was provided by the hysterical and incoherent reactions of its opponents. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a potential presidential contender, embraced the initiative, making an indisputable comment about the embargo: “If the goal is regime change, it sure doesn’t seem to be working.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) replied that Paul “has no idea what he’s talking about.””
“Like most poor and oppressed people in the United States, I do not have a voice. Black people, poor people in the U.S. have no real freedom of speech, no real freedom of expression and very little freedom of the press. The black press and the progressive media has historically played an essential role in the struggle for social justice. We need to continue and to expand that tradition. We need to create media outlets that help to educate our people and our children, and not annihilate their minds. I am only one woman. I own no TV stations, or Radio Stations or Newspapers. But I feel that people need to be educated as to what is going on, and to understand the connection between the news media and the instruments of repression in Amerika.”