In the final days of 2014, we have reached a moment to savor: the table has been set for President Obama to make decisive changes in U.S.-Cuba relations.
A remarkable group of women and men – here and in Cuba – began the good fight long before we hit send on the first edition of the Cuba Central News Blast.
This year, truly exceptional table setters drove progress in ways that built on their decades-long efforts. In the spirit of this holiday, we remember events and the people who took actions that made us thankful in 2014:
- Big shifts in support for normalizing relations – nationally, and especially in Florida and its Cuban American precincts – documented precisely and honestly in surveys by Florida International University, the Atlantic Council, and the Miami Herald.
- Bold leaders – retired U.S. officials, regional experts, and historic opponents of Cuba’s government – whose letter to President Obama demonstrates that real reforms are a mainstream expression of U.S. foreign policy interests.
- Comics and pundits who made us laugh and think as they talked about ending the embargo.
- Families who allowed reconciliation to replace revenge in their hearts; a once lonely process is now engaging thousands of families today.
- Investigative journalists, whistleblowers, and others who did the bold and persistent work to bring the scandalous activities of USAID’s Cuba program to light.
- The men and women who are working quietly and diligently so Gerardo Hernández,Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, and Alan Gross can return home.
- The New York Times Editorial Board for making the case, again and again, to the public and our national leadership that ending the embargo is in the national interests of the U.S.
- Scholars and historians whose new books built a stronger foundation for change.
- Smart, courageous allies who make the reform case in really creative ways.
- Readers that support the Blast whose donations let us share what we learn and think with all of you.
In the days and months to come, we will keep working and continue urging President Obama to transform U.S.-Cuba relations. The times demand it and he has the power to do it.
We know you believe this, just as we do. We invite you to join us by raising your voices and supporting our work.
You won’t hear from us until the first Friday in December. Between now and then, Alan Gross will mark the fifth anniversary of his arrest. There are empty seats at his family’s Thanksgiving table and in the homes of the Cuban Three who have been locked away in the United States considerably longer. A real reform must encompass a solution for them all.
The table is set and it’s time for the President to act.
Taken Cuba Central