United States Cuba Policy & Business Blog

Monday, December 7, 2009

The United States and Cuba – Dance Intermission

The Perception Game of the Week….
Recent events in the U.S. Cuba relationship dance suggest more dysfunction over progress unfortunately. Three news items reveal where the music stopped playing for the moment:
1) U.S. Cuba Migration Talks Pushed Back Until February
Cuba-US migration talks pushed back until February

This is unfortunate as both sides may have legitimate reasons for the postponement. However, the impression is left though that both sides are not committed enough or have made this issue a priority. Actions speak louder than words. The United States and Cuba urgently need to speak with each other, not at each other as so much lies in the balance – the lives and hopes of millions of Americans and Cubans, the economic possibilities to forge a better future, and the freedom of those imprisoned in both countries.

2) Cuba Blasts US Black Leaders for Charges of Racism
Cuba blasts US black leaders for charges of racism

In the twist and turns of the rationales to keep our insane embargo and travel restrictions, now a reason to keep Cuba isolated is the proposition that it is a racist country. Is the United States a racist country? The truth is racism is a problem all over the world. We have enough problems here in our own country. I am regularly reminded of the subtle racism that Latinos and every other minority face here. So while it is important that we address racism here, I submit it will be more productive to have a conversation about racism with Cuba in an atmosphere of normal travel and normal relations, not in the kind of diatribe that took place. Would you be willing to listen if were you backed into a corner? We just look like hypocrites complaining about racial prejudice in Cuba, when our own record on racism and discrimination here is an unfortunate part of the ongoing journey of American society. Reference was also made to a Cuban political prisoner, Darsi Ferrer. My hope is that Mr. Ferrer and all political prisoners in Cuba and the Cuban Five here in the U.S. will be freed. But that is going to take active, constructive, negotiations. When will those negotiations begin in earnest?

3) It's Unclear Why U.S. Medical Exports Aren't Reaching Cuba