MIAMI – When U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia are strolling down La Habana Vieja, many Cubans in Miami will be watching.
Sivia G. Iriondo said she will be thinking about the many families who were uprooted, as Fidel Castro and his supporters killed and intimidated opponents of his communist revolution.
Irionde is the president of Mothers & Women Against Repression, a Miami-based organization that keeps track of "the ongoing systematic violations of human rights" in Cuba, where there remains "a tightly controlled totalitarian state with a single-party system, where there is no rule of law, no separation of powers."
Brigade 2506 Veterans Chairman Felix Rodriguez believes Obama's visit will do absolutely nothing to benefit the Cuban people. But he will be watching Obama's visit anyway.
Iriondo is one of the many Cubans living in Miami who believe the only winner of Obama's new policy is Raul Castro. Surviving veterans of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and other Cubans who despise the Castro brothers have said Obama's visit to Cuba is another betrayal.
Iriondo testified in Congress late last year that since Obama's 2014 announcement "prominent members of the civic resistance movement in Cuba have died under highly suspicious extrajudicial and sudden circumstances."
Iriondo also believes Obama's meetings with Cuban officials will likely ignore the killings of Brothers to the Rescue pilots -- Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Mario de la Peña, and Pablo Morales -- Feb. 24, 1996.
"They were murdered on that day on broad daylight without any justification," Iriondo said. "And that crime remains unpunished."