Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez submitted seven questions to pres. Obama and to Raul Castro. Only Obama replied. You can read her post here.
The Miami Herald reports, Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez gets answers — from President Obama
A spokesman for the U.S. State Department’s Western Hemisphere department confirmed Obama had answered Sánchez’s questions.
Sánchez wrote that both the Spanish and English-language versions of Obama’s replies were provided to her by the White House.
Obama’s answers amounted to a standard restatement of his administration’s policies on Cuba — a desire for more bilateral and people-to-people contacts, in the hope they would lead to improved human rights, while insisting on “actions by the Cuban government.”
But he seemed to sidestep one particularly hard-nosed question: If his administration is really willing to put an end to the U.S.-Cuba dispute, would it “recognize the legitimacy of the Raúl Castro government as the only valid interlocutor in the eventual talks?”
“As I have said before, I am prepared to have my administration engage with the Cuban government on a range of issues of mutual interest as we have already done in the migration and direct mail talks,” the president answered. “It is also my intent to facilitate greater contact with the Cuban people, especially among divided Cuban families, which I have done by removing U.S. restrictions on family visits and remittances.
“We seek to engage with Cubans outside of the government as we do elsewhere around the world, as the government, of course, is not the only voice that matters in Cuba. We take every opportunity to interact with the full range of Cuban society and look forward to the day when the government reflects the freely expressed will of the Cuban people,”
In the Spanish version of his answers, Obama refers to Sánchez in the familiar tu instead of the more formal usted.
EFE news agency has a report in Spanish.
Val Prieto comments,
My beef with Yoani’s seven questions hinges on one single word: “dispute.” She speaks of this dispute between the US and Cuban governments as if it is the crux of the matter. As if the US trade embargo – a paper tiger if ever we’ve seen one and one she alluded to in a previous post – and the elimination of same and the opening of official diplomatic relations between the two governments will somehow be the end of all of Cuba’s woes.
If only that were the reality.
The only true dispute that exists in this context is the one between the castro government and the people of Cuba. The US government doesnt attempt to stifle Yoani’s voice, quite the contrary. The US government didnt incarcerate Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, Dr. Darsi Ferrer and a myriad other Cubans. The US government doesnt control and monitor every aspect of Yoani’s life. The US government didnt pick her up a few Fridays ago and violently beat her and her colleagues. The US government doesnt ration her food. The US government isnt the one that has agents parked in front of her house and following her around all day.
Go read the rest.