The Summit of the Americas is upon us, and for the first time in five decades, all eyes are on Cuba and the United States.
(And Venezuela but it's time for another blogger to take on that Mother.)
Is it good news? Absolutely. Has every story that has been released after President Obama's monumental policy change towards Cuba been good news? Abso-friggin-lutely. Like I told y'all before, it's time to talk about Cuba.
And here's why:
Relationships aren't black and white. They have history and they have colors. The relationship between Cuba and the United States was always ninety shades of grey -- being that Cuba is 90 miles south of U.S. shores. I hate to break it to you, but the United States married Cuba a long, long time ago. It was one of those matches made in Heaven, like peanut butter and chocolate, chicken and dates, guava and cheese.
That being said: all good cooks know that even with the sweet and the savory, you need a flavorless buffer.
Cuba and the United States could not be better paired in the race for global power. The trick is to align our two countries so that we can play this Monopoly game on the carpet together, rather than in these separate huffy and isolated corners.
So enter the Summit of the Americas.
Panama is our buffer zone. Panama and the other Western Hemispheric heads of state that will act as the olive oil, the honey, the texture and temperature that will make our sweet and Cuba's savory (or is it the other way around?) as delicious as a married power couple should be. Pope Francis has been one of our buffers all along -- encouraging communication, encouraging progress, encouraging the humility and respect that both countries must adopt as children if we are ever to have a normal relationship.
Cuba is not perfect and the United States must accept that. The United States is not perfect and Cuba must accept that. We two are hopelessly flawed countries that have made lifetimes of mistakes, have inflicted pain upon our lands and have governed our cities in ways that have hurt our peoples. At the Summit of the Americas, we have the opportunity to face each other knowing that we each have dirty laundry and skeletons in small closets. But the Summit provides us with a common ground and a second chance.
And, it is going to take time. The State Department is just now getting around to taking Cuba off of the United States' list of state sponsored terrorists where it has been for 33 years, and Cuba, for its part, is only now looking into Wi-Fi and allowing Cuban entrepreneurs to partner with Air B&B. There is no telling how long it will take before "relations are normalized," but normal relations between Cuba and the United States are going to look different to every American, to every Cuban.
To every Cuban-American.
Mi consejo, as a blogger and eternal optimist when it comes to Cuba and the United States, is for all of us to reflect on a key word in Webster's New World definition of the word, relationship.
And that palabra my Dear Readers is: connection.
It doesn't matter how much time has passed, it doesn't matter how treacherous the waters have been under the bridge. What matters is the connection, and the two parties holding the silver cans on either side like an old fashioned game of telephone.
It's been a long time coming and we both want it, so let's have at it.
Bring it on, Summit of the Americas-