Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Cuba ready to open dialog with U.S. - provided Miami Five are released
"Our only precondition is that Cuban-American relations must be based upon equality, reciprocity and conducted with an ‘equitable’ attitude. President Barack Obama has an historic opportunity to change relations between the two countries." The United States and Cuba have had no diplomatic relations for 50 years, since 1961. Tensions have increased rather than diminished since Cuban president Raul Castro assumed control of the island several years ago, and have worsened further as a result of the recent Alan Gross case.
The Castro regime has repeatedly asked Washington to end the Kennedy administration embargo imposed against the island in 1962, which has crippled its economy for half a century. The Cubans have also asked for release of the Miami Five. See my many posts below on Alan Gross and the Miami Five.
Ricardo Alarcon Ismael Francisco, the speaker of Cuba’s Parliament, said again last weekend that "normal relations with the United States are unimaginable without the liberation" of the Five, whom he described as "anti-terrorist" heroes. They have been held in U.S. prisons for the last 13 years.
For strategic and other reasons I agree it's time to release the Miami Five: http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2011/08/alan-gross-y-los-cinco-de-miami/
[Photo: Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla addresses the 66th U.N. General Assembly in New York last week]
at 1:10 PM