BEISBOL at center of Cuba-US rapprochement

Authored by friend of CDA, Tom Hayden.

I’ve written articles this year in the LA Times and the Nation, as well as an entire book,Listen Yankee! on the Cuban-US rapprochement, but my favorite reporting is aboutbaseball and coexistence. Not because I’m an old ballplayer who’s visited Cuba several times, but because baseball is the best framework for achieving real results in the immediate future. The sport is a shared passion in both our countries; baseball diplomacy already is bringing real results and solidifying a long-term rapprochement subject to pressure on other fronts. Only a 70-percent increase in authorized American travel to Cuba this year will have equal or greater effect, now that more than one hundred regularly scheduled commercial flights by U.S. carriers are being negotiated.

What has been accomplished so far are not exactly tiny steps, nor is the process being reduced to “fits and starts” as described by the Times’ Julie Hirschfield Davis emphasizing the caustic told-you-so comments of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from her extremist position of attempting to bring down the Cuban state [for which there is no support in opinion polls, even among Cuban Americans, much less Cuban baseball fans].

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PRESS RELEASE: CDA Statement on Secretary Clinton’s Landmark Cuba Speech

WASHINGTON — Sarah Stephens, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA), issued the following statement on Secretary Hillary Clinton’s landmark campaign speech at Florida International University today:

“What makes Secretary Clinton’s speech profound is her recognition that a policy of engagement rather than embargo offers the best way to realize U.S. interests in Cuba and the region, and to ensure that Cubans write the next chapter in their country’s future. Her message is a welcome contrast to the tired rhetoric of hardliners in the U.S. who treat the embargo as an end unto itself. This new formula opens space for policymakers of both parties to join in support of changing a failed policy and moving forward.”

Sarah can be contacted through Andrew Fishbein (202-234-5506) at the CDA office in Washington, DC. You can learn more about CDA at our website.