NewsMax on December 17, 2014, reported that Cubans in Miami’s Little Havana reacted with anger and dismay to President Barack Obama’s dramatic bid to end a half-century Cold War with the communist-ruled island. Excerpts below:
“It is a betrayal. The talks are only going to benefit Cuba,” said Carlos Munoz Fontanil in Calle Ocho, the heart of an exile community that has long pined for the fall of the Castro regime in Havana.
He spoke as dozens of people gathered outside Cafe Versailles, a Little Havana landmark, to protest the rapprochement announced almost simultaneously in Washington and Havana by Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro.
“I knew this was going to happen,” said a frustrated Osvaldo Hernandez, of the anti-Castro organization Vigilia Mambisa, clearly unhappy with the developments as he joined protesters carrying a sign denouncing Washington’s “betrayal.”
Hernandez, 50, said he suspected Obama had been planning the opening for a long time, but pinned his hopes on a Republican-controlled Congress.
“The trade embargo will never be lifted,” he said.
An equally outraged Felix Tirse, who arrived from Cuba 53 years ago, said Obama’s announcement showed “a lack of respect.”
“He is more communist than others,” he said.
Tomas Regalado, the Cuban-born mayor of Miami, arrived on Calle Ocho to commiserate with his fellow countrymen.
“It’s sad that the U.S. has given everything in exchange for nothing,” he said, referring to Cuba as “still a terrorist nation.”
“You would hope that request for democracy or free elections or to free Cuban political prisoners would have been part of the deal,” he said.