Padura Says Obama’s Visit Marks A Different Moment In Cuba-US Relations / EFE, 14ymedio

The writer Leonardo Padura. (EFE)
The writer Leonardo Padura. (EFE)

EFE (14ymedio), February 2016 — Cuban writer Leonardo Padura said today that he views positively the upcoming visit of U.S. president Barack Obama to Cuba, and he believes it marks “a different moment” in the relations between both countries, which have always been “very traumatic.”

“We are living at a unique moment: Obama is coming, the Rolling Stones are coming, a baseball team is coming, Chanel is coming… This has become like a theme park that everyone wants to visit,” joked Padura to EFE in Havana.

The author of “The Man Who Loved Dogs” confessed that he was surprised by the news of Obama’s trip announced for 21-22 March, which he greeted as something “very good.”

“I think that everything that contributes to eliminating tensions, building bridges, coming to a better understanding and, in the end, a better life for Cubans. you have to greet this as a positive thing,” he said.

The trip of President of the United States to the island “historically is marking a different moment. The relations between the United States and Cuba have always been very traumatic and, if that trauma is overcome and we travel a path towards real normalization of relations, it will be beneficial for everyone, especially for us Cubans,” he added.

Leonardo Padura participated today in Havana at the “Cultural Thursdays” colloquium organized by the Spanish Embassy in Cuba, held on this occasion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the creation of his character Mario Conde, the protagonist of his saga of police procedurals.

Along with Padura, speaking at the symposium was the actor Jorge Perugorría, who plays Mario Conde in the film and television series “The Four Seasons” which will premiere this year, directed by the Spanish filmmaker Felix Viscarret.

Jorge Perugorría told EFE that Obama’s visit has created “a kind of expectation among Cubans” and he hoped that it will serve to change and definitely improve relations between the two countries.

“I thought this [the visit of US president] was something I would never see. However, it has been faster than we imagined. Since the famous declaration of 17 December 2014 so much has happened, and so quickly. Obama is coming and I think it’s fantastic that this is happening and that the two countries will follow the path of understanding and normal relations,” said the actor.