By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES — There were mixed feelings today regarding the official reopening of the US embassy in the Cuban capital and how this might play out in practical terms in the coming weeks and months.
The sweet side includes many who consider themselves part of the traditional political left in the US and in Cuba. They see the raising of the US flag as acknowledgement of a failed US policy of isolating Cuba and the beginning of the end of the embargo, allowing the island some breathing room to try and kick-start its depressed economy.
They are joined by strange bedfellows: corporate America, led by the US Chamber of Commerce and many large corporations. This group sees Cuba as one more new market for their investments, forever searching for growth. They believe that business is business, and politics should not get in the way.
Both see lifting the embargo and the remaining travel restrictions as key next steps for improvement. They are joined by many ordinary Cubans and Cuban-Americans with family on both sides of the Florida Strait.
On the sour side, disaffected Cubans and others on the right are thoroughly disgusted with Obama, believing the administration has capitulated to the Castros, breathing new life into a regime they consider on the brink. They are banking their hopes on the Republican-led US Congress and presidential candidates like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush to pull the rug out from under the rapprochement, either now or later.
These hardliners reject the idea of worthwhile change and reconciliation in Cuba, holding fast to their insistence that the removal of the Castro family and the Communist Party from power represents the only acceptable transformation of the island’s political and economic life.
Yet another segment of the population agree with the opposition’s general call for greater human and civil rights on the island (freedom of speech, the press and association), while having deep reservations about State, military or corporate control over the country’s economy and political life.
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