In the past few weeks a new letter-writing controversy has arisen between Cubans on either side of the straights.
A little over ten days ago a letter signed by 74 Cuban dissidents was sent off to the United States Congress. Said letter appeared here on Huffington Post on the blog page of one of the signatories of the document . The letter basically asks members of Congress to take H.R. 4645  into serious consideration when it is presented to a vote. By doing this, Congress would be putting an end to the travel restrictions on all Americans to Cuba and would be allowing legal sales of United States agricultural commodities to the island. It would also serve another purpose twofold. The next step could be opening new ports of entry to the island in order to facilitate both travel and commerce; thus creating much needed jobs in the southern United States- a region that is much in need of such economic opportunities. Additionally, it would serve as an excuse to validate the so called civil society on the island; a gesture that would represent a win-win situation for both sides, no matter how you look at it.
That is unless you reside in the south of Florida and are a member of Congress.
The extreme right wing of the Cuban-American exile community in Miami has other things on their agenda. After the initial letter left Cuba and was posted on the Internet, all hell broke loose in Miami. Suddenly, the news was all about how Cuban dissidents were distancing themselves from the position of supposed unity they have held in the past; they were suddenly seeming rational and dangerously independent both from the Cuban Government and the Cuban-American extreme right wing factions of yore.
Another letter-- not to the members of Congress, but rather in response to the one posted on the Internet-- was also published. It was signed by over 200 lesser known supposed dissidents-- most of whom are no longer living on the island-- and it contradicts the request of the first position, demanding that the current outdated policy towards Cuba remain in place.
For some, the first was concocted from Washington it self in order to help promote the lobby in that nations Capitol and the second letter was prompted by soon-to-be former members of Congress in Miami.
Yesterday, in response to this initiative, a the Miami Herald published an article by Carlos Saladrigas in which the author and co chairman of the Cuba Study Group (by no means a pro- Castro organization), states that the true legacy of the intent of the letter to Congress is to distance themselves from what would normally be construed as members of Cuba's civil society as puppets of their puppeteers in Miami.
In the end whether one comes from one side or the other, or if either one stems from this personal interest or the other, the reality is that a change has to come about. The United States and Cuba have spent far too much time bickering over an issue that could have well been resolved rationally over 40 years ago during the presidency of John F. Kennedy, had things not elapsed unfortunately the way they did.
Cuba has the right to its independence, and if that means a sovereign government that holds the interests of its population at the forefront of its interests then let the so called dissidents residing on the island have their say, but let's make sure they are not getting their cues from anywhere else; save for their own personal and collective experiences on the island. Then, and only then, will any sort of positive change come about both inside and outside of Cuba, bilateral relations notwithstanding.
It is imperative, that on either side of the straights, people understand that any kind of positive change will always be welcome in Cuba, just as long as it comes from within the nation.
Two wrongs don't always make a right, but they can at least be a good start towards the path of much needed level-headedness.