The 'Blanco' Effect

In my most recent post last week, I commented on how diplomacy was a means to achieve goals of mutual respect and understanding vis a vie representations from government to government. This was related specifically to Secretary of State John Kerry's upcoming visit to Havana and a piece that was in the news then.

Today, Cuba and the U.S. are pretty much all over the news again. You have Richard Blanco who has been asked to write and read a poem on the 14th of August in Havana when the flag raising ceremony will take place; and then you have at least one senator and two members of the House of Representatives that are "upset" about the fact that the White House has let it be known that there will be no Cuban dissidents invited to the ceremony. They are so "upset" that they have gone from holding press conferences to putting out public statements on the topic.

Once again, there are members of the Cuban American community who are out of touch. President Obama spoke on the 17th of December of last year. He made it very clear that his aim was to fix a situation that had been broken for far too long. He then said he'd reestablish diplomatic relations.

These relations should be established taking certain criteria into account. I agree with this, and these criteria could be, say, the Vienna Accords, Geneva Convention, basic historic diplomatic game plays. I don't know. Common sense, maybe?

This Friday's event in Havana like the one on the 20th of July in Washington D.C, signifies that two governments have decided to accept one another and work towards a better reality. It also means that the peoples of both those nations will finally have a chance to pursue the type of life their predecessor's didn't: one of mutual respect and understanding. Latin America is no longer anyone's "backyard" and hopefully the United States with the recent game changing acts of this administration will be laying down the basis for future U.S. relations in the region no longer being seen as "us against them", but rather "all of us together", or at the very least in President Raul Castro's words today "coexisting in a civilized manner".

It fascinates me though and gives me a lovely sense of pride that of the two main news items today regarding Cuba and the U.S. and the Embassy, there is one regarding a person of Cuban origin who has the common sense lacking in so many others.

Thank goodness for the sanity of so many on both sides of the straights. Thank you Richard Blanco, engineer, diver, intellectual, poet, Cuban and American. I won't be there on Friday but I am sure you will do both your nations proud.