This morning we met with Omar Lopez, Human Rights Director for the Cuban American National Foundation, for over two hours. He gave us a history on human rights issues in Cuba, his own story of being blacklisted in Cuba for human rights activities, and how he survived the next 13 years until he could emigrate to the United States. Due to his activities here in the United States, Cuba would have imprisoned him if he traveled there when his parents were dying. It was highly educational. What will we be told in contrast once we arrive in Cuba?
We then went on a self-guided tour of Little Havana, walking several miles on Calle Ocho. We then broke into smaller groups, and ours visited the Bay of Pigs Museum on a whim and ended up spending the next hour with a veteran of the invasion, who gave us a day by day account of the battles as the exiles invaded Cuba.
After an excellent lunch at a small Cuban cafe, we stopped at Maximo Gomez Park and watched elderly Cubans playing spirited games of dominoes. While two of our Spanish speakers, David Bendit and Emily Boyce, conversed in Spanish with an elderly Cuban, Thomas Gregston was cajoled into a game. Showing the usual Colby passion at excellence in all endeavors, he won the game, though it was not immediately clear to the rest of us, or him, how he did it.
Assuming we can successfully post pictures, several follow. I do want to say that no one should expect to see any posts for the next two days. We have a very busy schedule extending late into the evening.
Omar Lopez, Human Rights Director at CANF, and Catedratico Lee at CANF Headquarters in Miami