Following the decision taken by Cuba and the U.S. to reestablish and normalize bilateral relations, fractured for more than 50 years, The Havana Reporter asked some members of the Cuban public to share their views and perspectives on the topic.
Alma Brown, Manager of a milk supply outlet
“As a Cuban I am very happy about the change in bilateral relations, we are neighbors who barely live 90 miles from each other and there is no need for us to always be in conflict.“
“I am also very pleased by the release of Gerardo, Ramon and Antonio, our three heroes, a gift for their families for which we should respect the courageous attitude adopted by President Obama reflected in the decision.“
Gabriel García Ayala, Self-employed taxi driver
“This is a long awaited and very positive development, there is no need for Cuba and the U.S. to sustain such levels of conflict. A peaceful coexistence is possible on the basis of mutual respect for the ideas and political systems of both nations.¨
“I think the increase in trade will be positive for the self-employed; spare parts and important products that are more costly because we they have to be purchased from afar will be more readily available..... I think that slowly but surely Cuba-U.S. relations will continue to improve, however we cannot ignore the fact that the blockade is still in force.”
Adelina Ferreiro Recaño, Drugstore manager
“The change in Cuba-U.S. relations will be positive for the two countries. The connection will be very good; they [U.S. citizens] could come to Cuba to know our country. An increase in trade will benefit us all. The economic outlook will be very good; there will be more products, less tension between the two countries…”
Camila Novas García, Professor at the National School of Ballet
“The rapprochement between the two countries is a historical event that sets a before and after in bilateral relations. It is a sign that we are going through a period of change, without false expectations verging on an exaggeration of the scope of this event, without ingeniousness.
The greatest achievement is that both sides have reached consensus based on mutual respect, for the benefit of the two countries in economic, political, and social terms.
Relaxing travel restrictions not only for Cuban-born people but also for U.S. citizens makes true a long cherished dream. It is impossible to keep two neighbor countries that are so close geographically isolated for so long.
Yeinny Marrero, Telecommunications engineer
There is lot of expectation. In my field of work, for example, it could bear good fruits, mainly because some of the largest suppliers of telecommunications equipment are based in the United States. The resumption of talks between the two governments could enable those U.S. companies to invest in Cuba, thus improving technological development.
Marina Domínguez Mena, Drugstore sales assistant
“I think it will lead to better public health care, a better national economy because, even though the blockade is still in place, we imagine that there will be an increase in trade and bilateral exchanges, that certain medications for our children and elderly will be more readily available. We want to see trade reestablished on the basis of governmental respect for both countries.”
Roberto Molina, artist
“It’s a major step every Cuban
should be involved in. We have been victims of the economic blockade for many years. The Obama-Raúl dialogue is historic, and I hope it is the beginning of a road with benefits for the two countries.“
“Personally, I’m very happy with this event, and I also thank the U.S. government for having released the three [anti-terrorist] Cubans imprisoned [in that country]“
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