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On Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced the normalizing of relations with Cuba and subsequently ending the Cold War with our neighbor just 90 miles off coast of Florida.

During Pres. Obama’s address, he told the nation, “These 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked.” With this action, Mr. Obama has signaled a new approach to America’s diplomatic as well as economic dealings with the communist nation.

On Thursday, Roland Martin and “NewsOne Now” looked at the end of the Cold War with Cuba and what the normalizing of relations could mean for Blacks in Cuba and America.

Congressman Charles Rangel, who joined Martin on”NewsOne Now” via phone from Havana Cuba, said upon hearing the news that the people “were so excited, they were cheering in the streets.”

Panelist Roland Roebuck, a community activist, told Martin, “We must commend the President for taking a bold move, that is stopping a policy that did not help Cuba nor the United States.”

“I think that Cubans are receiving this announcement with great, great joy.” Roebuck added, “I’m hoping there will be some level of parity to ensure the Black Cubans are able to participate and be active to this new decision.”

When asked about how this change of direction in US – Cuban policy impacts the case of Assata Shakur, the former Black Liberation Army Leader who was convicted of killing a New Jersey State Police Officer, Rep. Rangel said to Martin the “issue never came up and [I hope] that it doesn’t.”

Roebuck said, “Cuba is not going to collaborate with the FBI in returning” Shakur and others like her. He continued, “I think Cuba will lose face within Central America and South America if they engage in that type of collaboration.”

Listen to Martin and the “NewsOne Now” panel featuring Rep. Charles Rangel, Roland Roebuck, Kim Brown, Lenny McAllister and Avis Jones-DeWeever discuss the political and economic impact the normalizing of relations with Cuba will mean for African Americans and Afro Cubans below. Let us know if you think ending the Cold War with Cuba was a good move.

Be sure to listen to “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 7 a.m. EST and watch at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.


What Does Ending The Cold War With Cuba Mean For Afro-Cubans And African Americans  was originally published on