By Madalena Araujo, CNN
Fidel Castro’s niece told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that the former president and revolutionary must have had a role in the decision-making process that led to the historic breakthrough in U.S.-Cuba relations.
Mariela Castro Espin, daughter of President Raul Castro, said she doesn’t know “what is his view about this process but imagine that at any moment he’s going to write his reflections as usual. But I’m certain that he’s really happy about it, he must have participated in all this decision-making.”
In the first television interview from a leading member of the Castro family since the move to renew U.S.-Cuba relations was announced by both countries’ presidents on Wednesday, Castro said she feels “thrilled and excited and feel that a dream has come true, something that we wanted for so many years.”
“Normalizing the relations is something we’ve always wanted since the beginning, at the start of the Revolution as declared by our leader Fidel Castro.”
The Cuban President’s daughter, who is an elected member of Cuba’s parliament and a civic leader, said she “didn’t have the slightest idea” the negotiations, which had been ongoing for 18 months and kept in secret, were ongoing.
By Madalena Araujo, CNN
It is time for the Obama Administration to improve the long-strained relations with Cuba, Ernesto Londoño, a member of the New York Times' editorial board, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview that aired Thursday.
“I think we've entered a new era and I think the months ahead represent an opportunity for the Obama Administration to take a pretty bold move and to move this relationship in a direction that I think the president himself has long wanted to take it.”
The New York Times, arguably America's most important newspaper, has taken a very public stand calling for the end of the decades-old economic blockade of Cuba.
“I think reforms in Cuba and the political landscape in the United States offer the right conditions for this relationship to move on a healthier trajectory, for the two countries, for instance, to think about resuming formal diplomatic relations.”
Londoño joined Amanpour from the Cuban capital Havana, following a series of editorials Cuba-focussed editorial in the paper. The more than 50-year embargo was a Cold War measure implemented by the U.S. in 1960 when Fidel Castro, a friend of the then-Soviet Union, came to power.
Yoani Sanchez has become one of the world's most popular dissident bloggers, taking on the Cuban leadership armed with a laptop and a cell phone.
Sanchez is a constant thorn in the Castro brothers' side – blogging her criticisms of the Cuban government to the entire world. Though on the communist island, very few people actually have access to her work. FULL POST