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March 11, 2009
Cuba embraces Obama and clamors to end the embargo

Ricardo Alarcón is a veteran of the Cuban revolution. A one-time student leader, Alarcón is a long-time public voice for the government and considered an elder statesman of the regime.

He has held the post as president of the national assembly in Cuba. His influence and prominence are based not only on his longevity but also on his keen analysis of the United States. Alarcón spoke about the Cuban people, U.S.-Cuban relations and the promise of Barack Obama.

Peter Eisner interviewed Alarcón, and Ara Ayer shot the interview.

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[…] steps as U.S. invites Cuba to resume talksU.S. lifts Cuban travel ban and commerce restrictionsCuba embraces Obama and clamors to end the embargo U.S. misses out on flourishing Cuban businessU.S. turns off Havana news ticker, but Cubans await […]


I believe it is time for the US and Cuba to begin to work very hard on forming on a new and better relationship for all of its citizens and the citizens of the world. We are less than 100 miles from each other and we should have a warm and civil relationship…let’s get to it!


I am a first generation U.S. born Cuban-American. All my life, I have heard both sides of the embargo debate around my family’s kitchen table. It remains an emotional topic! I am of the opinion that the US government needs to end its hypocracy. We not only have extensive trade with communist China, we depend on them to lend us billions of dollars! We must also monitor and secure our hemisphere. With Russia nosing around again in Cuba it is in our country’s security interest to have a balancing presence in Cuba through trade and diplomacy. Our embargo against Cuba has also hampered our relations with many of our Latin American neighbors. Let us put aside this relic of the cold war and work to build relationships for the benefit of all the american nations.


No doubt opinions will change through layers of durations in Time like the hair styles of women from the world over are changed every time women prepare to become again world-stage actresses learning new lines of supposedly developing diplomatic initiatives while they have their husbands or lovers in common cause building bridges over rivers of geographical concepts showing contour lines of various landscapes while hiding faultlines of cosmic and terrestrial limitations which are but seemingly and only apparently sound…
Sound: which may be considered as the kiss of the lips of the Universe upon the mouths of the human structures of History.


As an American and as a human being, I hope to see an end of the Cuban embargo soon. As I looked at those school children, I hoped that they would not have to suffer from the embargo much longer.
The Cuban missile crisis is over! Communism is over. It looks like even our brand of unmonitored capitalism is coming to an end. So, why continue an embargo? Did the State Department decide to teach Cuba a lesson that never ends? We know from our painful experiences in the Middle East, i.e., wishing others endless harm for a past deed against us (Iran) will not lead to a good life for us.
Cubans are our very close neighbors. There were social-economic reasons in the 1950s that drove them to a revolution. It is time for the US to have a revolution of the heart and extend a hand of kindness to Cuba instead of the fist of a bully.
I would love to go to Havana and have some rice, beans, fried plantains and ripe mango and listen to some local music. We all share this lonely little planet Earth. We should make the best of our time here by building bridges instead of walls between one another.

Neil in Atlanta

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