Goshen News, Goshen, IN

April 5, 2013

United States should continue steps toward peace with Cuba


— Being deeply moved by our recent eight-day venture to Cuba we sent our first letter to a president of the United States (now shared as an open letter):

Dear President Obama,

We are really glad that you are our President. My wife and I recently returned from Cuba. We were part of an excellent learning venture on a Road Scholar program, a people-to-people cultural exchange that we understand you helped to make possible. Thank you!

We were excited and encouraged by the recent news of Sen. Patrick Leahy being on an official mission to Cuba and meeting with various leaders including President Raul Castro. In reports about this visit and hearing Leahy interviewed, it seems clear that to move forward our major focus needs to be, not the release of Alan Gross, but the taking of steps toward normalcy between our nations. Leahy highlighted the need for our government to reciprocate in response to some steps Raul Castro has made. Truly we want our country to move beyond the Cold War mentality of 50 years ago.

When we see news stories that keep making headlines we may too easily dismiss concerns related to our close, small neighbor Cuba. However as I recall that Jesus confronted his disciples when they were arguing about who was the greatest, he highlighted the importance of little ones. Certainly more steps can be taken toward normalizing relations between our countries and someday (hopefully soon) overcoming our country’s embargo of Cuba, a hangover from the Cold War.

President Obama, we greatly appreciate steps you have taken and another strategic and important step you can take is to remove Cuba from the list of terrorist nations. Truly this would be a realistic step toward more justice and peace.

Wanting to affirm and encourage you in continuing steps,

— Roger and Mim Eberly

Milford