The United States of America, the global policeman, is “changing its relationship with the people of Cuba”, as President Barack Obama put it. With this announcement of a resumption of diplomatic relations after John F. Kennedy severed them January 1, 1961 we need to evaluate what is behind it and what is positive and negative.
I recently had the pleasure of participating – albeit in a rather accidental fashion – in the Oncology Congress held at the Havana Convention Center this year. This scientific gathering is one of Cuba’s most important anti-cancer events in our country.
The immediate threat facing Havana right now is that beer and rum supplies may run out, as people are celebrating wholeheartedly. Putting an end to half a century of political intransigence seemed impossible.
I got wind that Cuba and the United States were exchanging prisoners while interviewing a group of medical doctors who left for Brazil this Wednesday. When I told them the Cuban agents imprisoned in the United States were on their way home, there was applause, cheering and plenty of tears.
The decision spells the triumph of common sense and wisdom, of the constructive and objective forces within the two governments, and the defeat of the conservative forces that, on both sides, aspired to maintain the old status quo we inherited from the Cold War.
It’s hard to believe it took me almost seven years to pay for that refrigerator, I thought while looking at the yellow slip of paper. It was hard, but, thanks to my perseverance and some jobs on the side, I managed to put together the amount of money I needed to get rid of my debt.
At a time when people expected a sign of good will to come in support of Cuba’s aspirations, they beat and detained the Ladies in White and those who accompanied them to celebrate a day that invokes nothing other than human rights, in a way that would be inexplicable in any decent society.
Though it is true that there is no shortage of marvelous places in our capital (about to turn 500), Havana’s urban architecture threatens to disappear altogether owing to the almost ceaseless collapse of buildings.
It felt as though Cuba was aiming to secure a first place at the Olympic Games or a seat in the UN Security Council – but they were merely the 2014 Veracruz Central American and Caribbean Games. The tension felt during the competition could be felt both on the island and the host country.
The new seven wonder cities of the world were announced in Dubai some days ago. To my surprise, Havana was one of the seven urban pearls chosen.