My husband’s phone rang at 2am. A quick glance at the country dialing code, +53, jolted him out of his haze; an unexpected call in the early hours of the morning has more often than not proved to be the bearer of bad news.
US president Barack Obama addressed the Cuban people from the Havana Grand Theater on Tuesday morning promising a new chapter in the history of both nations. Obama spoke out to Cubans on both sides of the Florida Straits, to families that have been separated for years and to the individual pain and suffering that has been caused by decades of political conflict between Cuba and the United States.
These days you don’t need to walk far in the island’s capital to overhear a curious (and often amusing) comment about President Obama’s much-awaited visit. In the traditional Cuban fashion, humor and irony mix with banter and gossip as the whole of Havana buzzes with expectation.
What remains certain is that Obama’s visit will continue to be the topic of conversation over the next four weeks – on Cuban television, international television, the streets of Havana and Miami, and the President will be greeted in March with expectation, flags and baited breath.