People who live in the past carry their anger and discontent with them into the future. They pass on their angst to their descendants. The decision by President Obama to attempt diplomatic relations with Cuba is historical, and has received accolades by the majority of people around the world. Negative reaction comes mostly from those who escaped to the United States and recall the atrocities of a younger Fidel Castro. The discussion has become generational; it is a choice of living in the future or the past.
Both the government and our nation’s people tend to harbor grudges. They hold onto the past which results in negating positive change for our nation’s and the world’s population. In a single poll 87 percent of Americans support the President’s efforts to improve relations with our closest geographical neighbor.
The secretive negotiations continued over an 18 month period. They were assisted by Canada, and encouraged by Pope Francis. Nearly 55 years of a contentious relationship has not produced a single positive negotiation towards the normalization of relations between the two nations. The world’s population is heralding the cessation of arrogance and posturing by both countries to make an attempt to end the rhetoric and reunite estranged families.
The most vocal detractor is Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. He views the President’s action as another failed act of diplomacy, and a slap in the face to Cuban dissidents residing in America.
He may be a bit prejudiced based on his family’s past. His parents are Cuban exiles. He has certainly grown up with tales of the abusive Castro regime; but he did not experience any of that part of his family’s past. He was born in Miami in 1971. He has benefited from the environment and educational opportunities of the United States. It is unfair for him to talk about the Cuba’s former evils; it was not his to experience firsthand.
Although the Castro family has displayed only minor changes in relation to human rights and the advancement of Cuba’s people, the opportunity to affect the lives of the nation’s people has risen from the ashes.
Rubio appears somewhat desperate. No one who follows politics closely doubts that he is a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. However, in recent polls his name was barely mentioned. Now, with the certain inclusion of Jeb Bush into the list of possible nominees, he has fallen farther back in his party’s consideration.
Many politicos are unsure of the level of his condemnation of the President’s actions regarding Cuba. Countless political pundits believe that he is using the issue to display political strength, and creating credibility in regards to international relations.
The fact remains that the people of all nations are valued assets. Cuba and the United States will be forever joined by familial bonds and the origin of nationality.
The announcement of renewed relations by the two nations was celebrated with spontaneous celebration in the streets of Havana. These moments demonstrated the only fact which contains any relevance. The people of the country of Cuba have regained hope for themselves and their posterity. Nations are not composed of governments; they are comprised of people. The one, universal truth is that the people of the world seek the same rights. They want to live a life which ensures security for themselves and their families. They want the right to be heard and respected by their government. They want freedom to live their lives as they choose and not under the autonomous control of their nation’s leaders. Yesterday, the hope of the Cuban people was reborn.
By James Turnage