Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Cuban Journalist Miriam Leiva Writes About Relations With the U.S.

From Havana, a Prominent Voice for Change
The Cuban Journalist Miriam Leiva Writes About Relations With the U.S.
OCT. 17, 2014

To the Editor:

Re "The Moment to Restore Ties to Cuba" (editorial, Oct. 12) and "Still
Pondering U.S.-Cuba Relations, Fidel Castro Responds" (Editorial
Observer, by Ernesto Londoño, Oct. 15):

Latin America and the Caribbean require a closer involvement of the
United States, and Cuba has been an obstacle in recent years, when the
leaders of the region promote its inclusion in their organizations and
meetings, such as the Summit of the Americas to be held in Panama in 2015.

President Obama must be there to express the ideals of democracy and
human rights, contribute to solving the most urgent problems and
strengthen ties with neighbors. Russia, China and others are advancing
in Latin America, seeking to displace the United States.

Since the Obama administration started the people-to-people policy in
2009, encouraging exchanges between Americans and Cubans, a lot has
changed. Remittances from relatives and friends help thousands of Cubans
to survive and even open small businesses.

More important, Cubans are feeling empowered by exchanges of views with
Cuban-Americans coming to visit and Americans on cultural, academic,
scientific, religious, sport and trade trips. Cubans who travel to the
United States discover the opportunities offered by democracy and work.

Further steps by President Obama would help the Cuban people, civil
society and dissidents. It is not just a matter of discussing whether to
have an embargo, although the embargo must be lifted, but of making the
appropriate decisions at the right time. The moment is ripe.

Fidel Castro, in citing the New York Times editorial, is delighted to be
back in the headlines and wants the credit in case of a turn in
Cuban-American relations.

Havana, Oct. 16, 2014

The writer, an independent journalist, was a co-founder of Ladies in
White, an opposition group.

Source: The Cuban Journalist Miriam Leiva Writes About Relations With
the U.S. - -

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