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LITTLE HAVANA (CBSMiami) – A day following President Barack Obama’s Cuba policy change, people from around the world–of different opinions–gathered again at Café Versailles in Little Havana.
Local, national, and international media outlets, from as far away as Spain and Japan, have made their way to Little Havana to capture and share the political engagement regarding the history-making change in policy.
While presence has dwindled since Wednesday, the passionate reaction to the Obama Administration’s change in policy towards Cuba has not.
The issue divided some Cuban-Americans at the popular Little Havana restaurant, spurring an occasional scream-match of opposite views.
One man at Versailles Thursday morning, shortly after the coffee window opened, began letting his opinion known, calling a President Obama supporter a communist and a traitor.
While opinions on the policy change vary, many Cuban-Americans are furious saying the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations is a betrayal.
“It gave the totalitarian Cuban government everything and asked for nothing in return,” Angel Gonzalez Salas said.
Ramon Mas Canosa, whose brother Jorge was a pioneer in the Cuban-exile movement, said that exiles should have been involved in any negotiations with the Cuban government.
“What we’re asking for is a seat at the table and that’s not happened. This is something that was done through 18 months behind closed doors,” Mas Canosa said Thursday.
Others say the embargo has not worked and has only led to more suffering of the Cuban people.
“Now is the opportunity that one president says we need to something for freedom in Cuba, for food in Cuba,” said Cuban-American Santiago Portal.
Even two Miami Mayors, both Cuban-American, have split opinions.
Current Mayor Tomas Regalado is angry that the administration negotiated with the Castro regime.
“There is no request for freedom of speech, no request for freedom of political prisoners,” said Mayor Regalado of the new policy.
While former Mayor Manny Diaz, whose father was a political prisoner in Cuba shared his opinion via Twitter, tweeting, “For more than 50 years we’ve tried it one way. The time has come for a different approach.”
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