Bells Ring in Havana, Anger Erupts in MiamiPosted: December 18, 2014
Havana (CNN) — Church bells rang out Wednesday afternoon in Havana, marking a major moment in history — Cuba and the United States are renewing diplomatic relations after decades of ice-cold tension.
Word of the massive change was met with passionate opinions and some protests in the United States. And tearful celebrations erupted in the streets of the island after President Raul Castro announced the news in a televised address.
“With the main obstacle for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations eliminated, the only unknown is the next step. Is the Cuban government planning another move to return to a position of force vis-a-vis the U.S. government? Or are all the cards on the table this time, before the weary eyes of a population that anticipates that the Castro regime will also win the next move.”
— Yoani Sanchez, a well-known Cuban blogger
But there was uncertainty and some anger amid the joy.
Dissident Cuban blogger Yusnaby Perez tweeted that his neighbor asked him whether a change in U.S.-Cuban trade relations would mean that he could finally afford to buy meat.
Other dissidents worried that their concerns will now be overlooked.
Yoani Sanchez, a well-known Cuban blogger, decried what she described as a carefully plotted victory for the Castro regime in the swap of detained U.S. contractor Alan Gross for Cuban spies imprisoned in America.
“With the main obstacle for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations eliminated, the only unknown is the next step,” she wrote in a column for 14ymedio.com. “Is the Cuban government planning another move to return to a position of force vis-a-vis the U.S. government? Or are all the cards on the table this time, before the weary eyes of a population that anticipates that the Castro regime will also win the next move.”
Even with the next steps unclear, happiness spread quickly through a market in the heart of Cuba’s capital, where crowds watched speeches from Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama announcing the news on TV screens. “In the audience,” 14ymedio reported, “many threw kisses to Obama and hugged each other.”
In Miami, where the vast majority of the large population of Cuban exiles once fiercely opposed any change in the U.S. stance toward the island, reactions were split, mostly along generational lines.
- VIDEO: Reactions to thaw in Cuba-US ties (bbc.co.uk)
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- U.S., Cuba to re-establish diplomatic relations (reviewtimes.com)
- Republican Carlos Curbelos Now Slightly Favored Over Democrat Joe Garcia (#FL26) (legalinsurrection.com)
- Poll finding Cuban-Americans favor ending embargo called into question (legalinsurrection.com)
- Cuban-American lawmakers lash out at the White House over Cuba normalization (hotair.com)
- South Florida Congressman: My Constituents ‘Are Outraged’ (nationalreview.com)
- U.S. to Start Talks with Cuba to Normalize Full Diplomatic Relations, Open Embassy (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Did Obama’s new Cuba policy just launch Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign? (legalinsurrection.com)