Coral Gables health-care executive Mike Fernandez backs renewed U.S.-Cuba relations, he said in an op-ed published in the Miami Herald -- a significant endorsement from a prominent political backer of 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush.
Cuban Americans everywhere, but especially the diaspora in South Florida, have been awakening to the reality that Cuba's isolation was and is not a sustainable strategy.
The case has been made for decades that Cuba’s failure is a self-inflicted wound by its dictatorial leadership.
Unfortunately, those of us born on the island — and in partnership with U.S. policies — provided the strategic scapegoat that perpetuated the cover that allowed the Cuban government to blame the embargo and Washington for all its failures.
Let the embassies open. Let Google and Yahoo, the press and Yoani, and the memory of Paya and many others be the order of the day.
Let’s support the Cuban people’s hunger for a future, a future that has been denied to them for decades now. Let's us be a force of change, not a people of unremitting anger.
My friends, my family, my fellow Cuban Americans, let’s set our people free.
Let us free our minds of hate and memories and thoughts or revenge.
That's very different from what Bush said this week when President Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro announced the re-opening of embassies in Washington and Havana.
"I oppose the decision to further embrace the Castro regime by opening an embassy in Havana," Bush said in a statement. "The real test of the Obama Administration's rapprochement with the Castro regime in Cuba is not whether President Obama's legacy is burnished with dubious diplomatic achievements and photo-ops, but whether improved relations between Havana and Washington advance the cause of human rights and freedom for the Cuban people.
"The ongoing detention of dissidents and continued human rights abuses suggest the Administration’s policy is failing this test."