14ymedio, Henry Constantin, New York, 31 May 2016 — This video is mute. Like Josefina Vidal, an official from Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Relations (MINREX), and José Ramón Cabañas, Cuba’s ambassador to the United States, when I asked them questions that they did not expect, after their lecture on “normalization” at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) held in New York a few days ago:
- Most Cubans believe that the real blockade is what “those up above” in Cuba maintain against the initiatives of the rest of us.
- The normalization between Cuba and the United States is well advanced: Cubans receive with joy both the United States president as well as the simple tourist from the north. And they have privileged status when they arrive on the northern soil.
- We Cubans want not only tourism or entertainment from the United States, but also to be its counterpart in politics, business, media, academics…
- The biggest obstacle to normalization is that put in place by the Cuban government.
- This occurs because the Cuban government does not have normal relations with its own people, neither asks nor listens to them, on this or any other subject.
- And, finally: When will Government of Cuba have normal relations with the Cuban people?
They did not respond. They don’t know how. The “abnormal” is in effect.
At the end of the video I am standing against the conference room wall but content, because it is they who will be against the wall of the future, the day that more Cubans are encouraged to question them. And demand from them.