In a speech in New York on Friday, Mr. Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, dismissed the Obama administration’s talk of new opportunities for U.S. business.
(AP Photo/Ismael Francisco, Cubadebate).
A new era has begun with the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana. Earlier i…
Secretary of State John Kerry celebrated the day but also made an extraordinary, nationally broadcast call for democratic change on the island. Kerry is traveling to the Cuban capital to raise…
Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco said he hopes the poem he read Friday at the reopened U.S. embassy in Havana will serve as a catalyst to an emotional reconciliation.
Kerry is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Cuba since the Franklin Roosevelt administration.
Taylor, who is also a director of Center for Urban Studies, suggested that the official reopening of the US embassy in Havana will help to increase the momentum for removing the US trade embargo on Cuba as well as strengthen the Cuban activist movement.
He said negotiations will follow three tracks. Rodriguez stressed there must be no U.S. interference in Cuba’s affairs.
“Great, let’s now have democracy and human rights and freedom”, said Diego Carrion, a 74-year-old retired state worker.
For those of us in the global media, gathered on a rooftop recording the event, it felt like history unfolding in front of us, nearly six decades of Cold War being consigned to the past.
“And indeed, we remain convinced the people of Cuba would be best served by genuine democracy, where people are free to choose their leaders, express their ideas, practice their faith.”
She proudly displays the American flag outside her house in Biloxi.
“Cuba isn’t a place where there’s racial discrimination, police brutality or deaths resulting from those problems”, Rodriguez said. “The territory where torture occurs and people are held in legal limbo isn’t under Cuban jurisdiction”.
“I think we’re ending one phase and entering another”, said Robert Muse, a U.S. lawyer specializing in Cuba.
Back in the United States, Obama’s conservative opponents had harsh words on the thawing of the Cold War conflict.
“It is principally a government-to-government event”, the official said, “signifying this new relationship and the re-opening of the embassy”.
Crowds of several hundred Cubans, some of them waving small American flags, stood behind barricades outside the iron fence surrounding the embassy.
Kerry, the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Cuba in 70 years, will be accompanied by aides, members of Congress and three U.S. Marines who last lowered the flag there in January 1961.
“I don’t want to go to the United States, I want to stay in my country. Not only did they have to give up their belongings, most came to this country with nothing but a suitcase”, said Negrin.
Speaking later with reporters, Kerry said the US Congress was unlikely to ever lift a punishing economic embargo on Cuba unless the Communist government improved its human rights record. Cuba’s future, he said, “is for Cubans to shape”.
BRUNO RODRIGUEZ, Foreign Minister, Cuba (through interpreter): Cuba feels very proud of its performance when guaranteeing the full exercise of indivisible, interdependent, universal human rights, civil rights and civil liberties, on equal footing for each Cuban citizen. Cuban dissidents weren’t invited to the morning ceremony at the embassy, but will attend a later reception and a second flag raising at the chief of mission’s residence. He said that the U.S.is committed to pursuing “tough” issues, including human rights, with the Cuban government, and that further progress will be necessary for normalization of relations to proceed.