In December 2014, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. would reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba. This move ended more than 50 years of mutual isolation and opened a “new chapter” between Cuba and the United States. Arlington Public News chronicled this historic process in a three-part report.
In January 2015, APN presented an interview with Felix Mwenetombwe, formerly a French diplomat in Havana. While summarizing the history between the United States and Cuba, Mwenetombwe shared an insightful perspective on how the United States will move forward in the process of reestablishing relations with Cuba. He drew heavily from the experience of the European Union, which reopened economic relations with Cuba in 2008.
More than simply a political and economic shift, this decision by President Obama offers Americans the opportunity to weave closer ties with Cuba – as some Arlington residents highlighted in our street interviews. APN also followed the journey of a local choir, “Sharing A New Song,” which embarked on a tour of Cuba, singing and connecting with the Cuban people in various locations. APN’s very own news anchor, Paul Wehrlin, took part in this adventure to Cuba.
Finally, APN recorded an interview with Susan Eckstein, Professor of Sociology and International Relations at Boston University, and a Latin America specialist and author of the book, The Immigrant Divide: How Cuban Americans Changed the U.S. and Their Homeland. In this interview – recorded prior to the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Cuba – Eckstein told APN about the influence of Cuban-Americans in the United States and how they may shape political debate in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Each segment of this three-part report was produced as history unfolded between the United States and Cuba. This package offers a unique perspective into how political decisions impact our everyday lives. For more about Arlington Public News’ international coverage, a hyper-local vision of the world, check out our news category at http://news.acmi.tv/category/news/