Miriam Leiva, Havana, 23 March 2016 – I had the honor of participating in President Obama’s meeting with representatives of Cuba’s Independent Civil Society. Oscar Espinoa Chepe* would have attended, as he advocated for many years for the lifting of the embargo, as is well known, for the approach, and the abandonment of confrontation for the benefit of the Cuban people.
The meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere. Among the attendees were some three people who did not agree with President Obama’s policy. All participants expressed our views, we were listened to with great interest by the President and Secretary of State John Kerry. Obama spoke of the objectives and expectations of his policy towards Cuba.
THE MEETING IS THE RECOGNITION AND SUPPORT FOR CUBA’S PEACEFUL OPPOSITION, which no other leader visiting Cuba has dared to show. Obama let the people of Cuba know about these considerations during his press conference on 21 March and his speech on 22 March, where were broadcast live on television.
*Translator’s note: Oscar Espinosa Chepe was a former political prisoner, Miriam Leiva’s husband, and an acclaimed economist. He passed away in 2013. This link includes articles by and about him.