Reprinted from The Nation
Cuban President Raul Castro spoke in a televised address about the thawing of Cuba-U.S. relations.
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No one in the mainstream media will acknowledge it, but the normalization of American relations with Havana, symbolized by release of prisoners today, is a huge success for the Cuban Revolution.
The hostile US policy, euphemistically known as "regime change," has been thwarted. The Cuban Communist Party is confidently in power. The Castros have navigated through all the challenges of the years. In Latin America and the United Nations, Cuba is accepted, and the United States is isolated.
It is quite legitimate for American progressives to criticize various flaws and failures of the Cuban Revolution. But the media and the right are overflowing with such commentary. Only the left can recall, narrate and applaud the long resistance of tiny Cuba to the northern Goliath.
For those actually supportive of participatory democracy in Cuba, as opposed to those who support regime change by secret programs, the way to greater openness on the island lies in a relaxation of the external threat.
Despite the US embargo and relentless US subversion, Cuba remains in the upper tier of the United Nations Human Development Index because of its educational and healthcare achievements. Cuba even leads the international community in the dispatch of medical workers to fight Ebola. Cuba is celebrated globally because of its military contribution to the defeat of colonialism and apartheid in Angola and southern Africa. Now a new generation of Cuban leaders who fought in Angola is coming to power in the Havana and its diplomatic corps. For example, Rodolfo Reyes Rodrguez, Cuba's representative to the United Nations, today walks on an artificial limb as a result of his combat in Angola.