90 Miles

Perhaps in 2020 the GOP's Presidential nominee will begin to heal the damage that Trump has undeniably done to the party's Cuban-American coalition.
For many Cubans, Obama has become the manifestation of increased tourism and thus increased opportunities for private business. As more private licenses are granted, more Cubans can seize the opportunity to move towards being a "have" instead of a "have-not."
Although the media commotion over your visit to Cuba has diminished, I'm sure that Cuba will continue to hold your attention in the coming months. So I thought this would be an opportune moment to write you about someone who was apparently much on your mind during your historic visit.
I was among those invited by the White House to be part of President Obama's historic visit to Havana over the past couple of days. While the President's entourage was largely a congressional delegation, representatives of various business concerns, and Cuban-Americans who have lived the pain of separation from their families all these long six decades, it was my honor to be recognized as a non-Cuban who cares deeply that the hope to reunite our two peoples is on the near horizon.
Just as the U.S. must recognize and respect Cuba's national sovereignty in order to achieve a "normalization" between nations, for its part the Cuban government must recognize that its national sovereignty -- like that of any nation -- is based on the popular sovereignty of each and every one of its citizens whom it has preferred to treat as subjects for decades.
The opening of rights may be slow and difficult, and the political changes will depend on the capacity of Cubans to achieve them. Barack Obama will not make changes in Cuba, but he's facilitating them.
Will this trip help push Cuba toward becoming a more open and democratic society? Again, I believe it will. America is always at its best when we lead by our example as the world's most successful democracy.
Day one of Obama's official agenda ends with a top-level meeting with President Raúl Castro followed by a state dinner for the Obama family. I'm curious to discover whether the meeting is a mere formality or of they will do any real negotiation.
In the U.S. the obvious hindrance is the embargo, which is codified into law and can only be changed by the Congress, which just recently found the courage to begin to act. In Cuba, the slow pace and limited reach of reforms have a similar undermining effect.
In just a few days, President Obama will head to Havana, Cuba, becoming the first sitting president to do so in nearly 90 years. It's an historic trip -- one that gives the President and First Lady a chance to meet with the Cuban government and hear directly from the Cuban people.