Friday, February 20, 2015

Nancy Pelosi excited by the work of her delegation to Cuba

Nancy Pelosi excited by the work of her delegation to Cuba / 14ymedio,
Luz Escobar
Posted on February 20, 2015

14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 19 February 2015 — On Thursday afternoon,
the Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi led a press conference in which she
provided a summary of her visit to Cuba, in addition to answering
questions from foreign journalists and independent press. The meeting
was held on the outside of the residence of Lynn Roche, Head of the
Public Affairs Section of the US Interests Section in Havana (ISIS).

During the conference, Pelosi was accompanied by Congressmen Eliot Engel
(NY), Jim McGovern (Massachusetts), Rosa DeLauro (Connecticut), Collin
Peterson (Minnesota), Nydia Velázquez (New York), Anna Eshoo
(California), Steve Israel (New York) and David Cicilline (Rhode
Island). Prior to the meeting with journalists, the delegation had met
with Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino the highest authority of the
Catholic Church in Cuba, as well as holding "a meeting with members of
civil society," although no names or groups were detailed.

During the press conference, Congressman Eliot Engel emphasized that
"now the ball is in the Cuban government's corner… We want to see a
flourishing civil society," he said. Engel also highlighted his hope of
"seeing part of free civil society at the Summit of the Americas,"
although he acknowledged being "very concerned about the issue of human
rights" on the island.

Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, said she was "excited" and "proud" of the work
that his delegation undertook in Cuba. The Democrat had arrived with the
rest of Congressional Democrats Tuesday and on Thursday also met with
the Vice President of the National Assembly, Ana Maria Mari Machado,
along with twenty members of the controversial Cuban parliament. Pelosi
also expressed her pride in President Barack Obama for "the audacity to
make such a shift in policy towards Cuba."

According to what the members of congress explained to the press, both
sides in the negotiations for the reestablishment of relations between
Cuba and the United States recognize that "this is a time to look more
toward the future than the past." For his part, Steve Israel said that
"for this process to succeed both countries have to focus more on the
future and less on the past. December 17th was an historic moment for
the two countries, but the real story is making the changes."

Jim McGovern said that "if the embassies open" it could improve the
negotiation process because both governments are speaking directly. "We
have a more mature relationship. We can not agree on everything, but I
think possibly we can achieve much more if we base our relationship on
mutual respect… We will continue talking about human rights," he said,
but stressed that it must first a policy "that has proved to be a
failure" should be changed. Finally, he supported "establishing formal
diplomatic relations, rather than trading accusations and pointing
fingers at each other."

Later Israel himself speculated on how this ongoing process will be
looked back on, and "how those who embraced the future of those who
embraced the past will differ."

At the end of the press conference, the delegation of Democratic members
of congress met with First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel. To a
question from 14ymedio regarding whether they had noticed any desire on
the part of the Cuban government to cooperate on the issue of
computerizing Cuban society and access to new technologies, Anna Eshoo
stressed that "younger people in Cuba, in particular, are hungry for
this, and recognize the empowerment that access to broadband would bring."

Congresswoman Eshoo said that she "had the pleasure of sitting at lunch"
with the blogger Harold Cardenas from La Joven Cuba blog, and had "a
wonderful discussion." As for the "preservation of values" that has so
concerned the Cuban ruling class lately, the congresswoman said she let
them know she understood their position.

Nydia Velázquez conveyed to the those present that they "would like to
share [their] experience in promoting economic development," especially
in the field of small private businesses, which in the case of the US
are "the backbone of the economy." This would help the economic growth
of many Cuban families, said the congresswoman.

Source: Nancy Pelosi excited by the work of her delegation to Cuba /
14ymedio, Luz Escobar | Translating Cuba -

No comments:

Post a Comment