Dynamiting bridges, in times of change

Large segments of American society are demanding a change in government policy towards Cuba, marked by half a century long embargo and hostility, but a few others are determined to blow any approach through hatred and violence.

News about the necessary shift on Cuba  enter the fray one after another, from letters to President Barack Obama to US congressmen and businessmen visits to the island, interested in building bridges between neighbors over the troubled waters of political or ideological differences.

 

However, a small sector headquarted in South Florida, Miami, seems stuck in the past, reluctant to turn the page.

For many people at this side of the dispute, both native and immigrant, the question arises : For how long a group of Cuban Americans in Congress and some others  in the sunny streets of Miami, will continue betting for the distance ?

The question is right on time, especially since within that community itself, over 60 percent of its members advocate for a change, according to surveys that have nothing to do “with the communist regime.”

On May 19 an open letter to President Obama was released, in which 44 personalities, many of them influential in U.S. politics and economics – urged the president to use his constitutional powers to promote a new bilateral stage.

Former administrations officials from both parties, businessmen and former senior officials within the Armed Forces which hold strong stances  in the past  against Castro, claimed in the letter for free  travel  to all Americans to Cuba and recommended Washington to hold serious discussions with Havana in areas of interest mutual , as national security , migration , drug trafficking and environment.

Worth mentioning the issue of the travel ban imposed to Americans  who want to visit the Caribbean island, mainly in a country in which one hears the word freedom, from birth.

Returning to the letter, it deserves to be called “unprecedented “,  by the content itself  and by the relevance of the signatures, most of them  aware that in Congress little can be done to change things , and only through Obama executive powers the opportunity to encourage greater interaction can arise.

Among the signatories appear nothing less than, John Negroponte, former director of National Intelligence under the management of W. Bush, Admiral James Stavridis, ex Supreme Commander of NATO,  now retired, former Western Hemisphere Affairs Under  Secretary of State, Jeffrey Davidow , Alec Wastson and Arturo Valenzuela  and top diplomats appointed to Havana in the past such as Vickie Huddleston and Michael Parmly .

American sugar magnate Andres Fanjul,  ex Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar; the former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and David Rockefeller, Honorary Chairman of the Council of the Americas also signed the document.

In the context of the letter , it was also announced the upcoming  trip to Havana of Thomas J. Donohue Chairman and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States leading a delegation to address the economic environment and the progress of the sector private .

This new development comes right after Democrats Barbara Lee and Sam Farr ( California) , Emanuel Cleaver ( Missouri ) and Gregory W. Meeks (New York)  recent  visit to the Caribbean island as part of  a congressional  effort to promote rapprochement.

In times when that seems to be the trend, rather surprised to hear the news of the capture by Cuban authorities of four citizens of Cuban origin and residents from Miami, accused of planning terrorist actions.

According to Cuba, José Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodríguez González, Raibel Pacheco Santos y Félix Monzón Álvarez were arrested on these charges.

The statement adds that the four have already recognized the intention of attacking military installations and the organization’s links to “old friends” of the violent practices against the island as Santiago Álvarez Fernández Magriñá and Osvaldo Manuel Mitat Alzugaray, Luis Posada Carriles´ partners in past plots.

Posada Carriles, not infrequently  called the Bin Laden of America, is attributed heinous acts  like  the October 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner with 73 humans aboard, all killed.

The capture of these terrorism suspects only fits to the extinguishing hatred speech and resistance to change, led by Cuban American Congress members Ileana Ros- Lehtinen , Mario Diaz Balart , Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio.

As the polls show, most Americans wait  for the civilized rapprochement between two neighboring countries , above political differences.