Rebeca Monzo, 18 December 2015 — Yesterday, December 17, marked the one-year anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations between the United States of America and the Republic of Cuba.

In my earlier post I noted that, when this event occurred, it unleashed many feelings, ranging from joy to apprehension. It quickly became obvious that there were two emotions in particular that Cubans were experiencing quite keenly. On the one hand, there was great hope at the prospect of major changes so long desired by the vast majority of Cubans both inside and outside the country. On the other hand, there was the fear that the Cuban Adjustment Act, presumably now irrelevant, would be repealed.

This latter concern led to the massive exodus of Cubans to any Latin American country they felt might serve as a trampoline to vault them to the United States, as well as the flight of the “lucky ones,” who could go to the U.S. directly. Rather than implement urgent changes necessary in a country mired in a full-blown social, economic and political crisis, an intransigent Cuban government has instead obstinately made ridiculous demands, which have only succeeded in stalling the negotiations, in an effort to buy time.

It is obvious that, at least so far, it is the Obama administration that has initiated all the efforts aimed at improving relations. Meanwhile, Raul has insisted on reparations that he knows full well will not be paid — brandishing them like symbols of a highly questionable national sovereignty and independence — while using and forcing Cuban media to adopt accusatory, obsolete and undiplomatic language when referring to the United States.

Unless this changes, we will continue experiencing economic, political and social stagnation, which — along with the crises facing the Maduro government and the Latin American left — only threaten to get worse.

The only positive images in our minds and on our retinas have undoubtedly been the raising of the flag at the American embassy in Havana and the raising of our flag in Washington.

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