Cuba’s US Ambassador Met Secretly in Miami with Friends of the Regime
The Cuban ambassador to the United States, Lianys Torres Rivera, paid a visit to Miami at the end of May to meet with businessmen related to travel and remittances to the Island.
According to a report by América TeVé, the Cuban diplomat traveled “in secret” to avoid protests against her, in a city that is home to many opponents of the Cuban regime. It was the first time that Torres Rivera, who was appointed the island’s highest representative in Washington, visited this enclave of the Cuban exile.
“The ambassador assured the compañías, with whom she met in Miami, that the regime is interested in speeding up the procedures for obtaining Cuban passports,” the media reported, based on three sources who requested anonymity.
The ambassador, who traveled with her husband and the Cuban consul in Washington, Nora Albertis Monterrey, also had another objective, suggests América TeVé: to support the movement founded by professor Carlos Lazo, Puentes de Amor, an initiative that advocates for the elimination of the United States embargo on the Island.
“It is important to make it clear that Havana supports Lazo and not Edmundo García, who has fallen into disgrace against the Cuban dictatorship,” added the América TeVé report. García is a journalist who, like Lazo, defends the regime from his residence in the United States.
Torres Rivera’s visit coincided precisely with the announcement to eliminate various measures against Cuba.
On May 16, the United States announced the reestablishment of flights to Cuban provinces, which until June of this year served only Havana. The same date, the Biden Administration also reported that they would resume the family reunification program and suspend the $1,000 per quarter limit on remittances, measures that had been imposed by his predecessor, Donald Trump.
These measures were criticized by some and applauded by others. The relief went down well in Miami among those who believe that it will help improve the situation of Cubans, but very badly among those who think these changes “are not going to contribute to political change” on the island.
A month before the visit, the United States and Cuba resumed the bilateral dialogue on migration issues, the first since Biden’s arrival at the White House, through the Cuban Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Fernández de Cossío, and the Assistant Undersecretary of State of the US Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Emily Mendrala.
These meetings had been suspended in 2018 during the presidency of Donald Trump (2017-2021), who reversed the historic rapprochement process with the Island launched by his predecessor Barack Obama (2009-2017).
After the relief measures came another friction between the two nations: the Summit of the Americas, to which the Cuban government was not invited. Days before, the regime had insisted that the Summit should be an inclusive event for all American states.