Dear Mr. President
First, welcome President Obama to the Magic City. South Florida is filled with people from all over the world — many of them, like generations of Cuban exiles, arrived here seeking freedom.
That's why your fund-raising stop at the home of Gloria and Emilio Estefan carries such enormous potential.
After 51 years of dictatorship, Cubans on the island are crying out for change. And you astutely captured that angst last month when you spoke up for human rights and the Ladies in White, the wives, mothers and daughters of Cuba's political prisoners. Your censure of the Cuban regime's repression came a month after political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo died during a hunger strike -- a death that shook the world's conscience and sparked a march in Miami led by the Estefans in defense of human rights.
Your call for Cuba to release its political prisoners echoed leaders in Europe and Latin America. It's important that your administration work in concert with the European Union and Latin American democracies to keep the pressure on Raúl and Fidel Castro, especially as more dissidents like Guillermo Fariñas are now on hunger strikes to press for prisoners' freedom. As happened in South Africa when democratic nations united against apartheid, this is a critical juncture for Cuba.
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