On Our Way to Cuba!

Photo by Janet Donovan
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D. NY) with T.H. Carlos Gutiérrez
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D. NY) with T.H. Carlos Gutiérrez

The progress that we mark today is yet another demonstration that we don’t have to be imprisoned by the past. When something isn’t working, we can and will change.” — President Obama

“I have to admit, the first time I was skeptical when I first heard it,” former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutiérrez told Hollywood on the Potomac when asked about his first reaction to the announcement from the White House. “The more I thought about it – and I’ve been thinking about this for a long time – I think it’s the right thing at the right time. I went to Cuba on the 14th of August, first time since 1960, and I find it very difficult for anyone to go down and then come back and think that the embargo was good policy, you know? I’m all in. I think it’s a wonderful time and I think it’s great what’s happening.”  The opportunity for the comment came about at the “Engage Cuba” Holiday Party and One Year Celebration of renewed U.S.- Cuba Ties where Ambassador José Cabañas received enthusiastic guests.  This was a remarkable comment coming from a man who was born in Havana and fled with his family to Miami during the Cuban Revolution when he was six years old.