On behalf of the Minnesota Yoruba Cuba Association we want to thank you for making the visit to Minnesota by the First Secretary of the Cuban Interest Section, Jesús Perz Calderón, a huge success. He fulfilled an extraneous itinerary that was put together by a diverse group of our local community. He left with a great impression of the work being done here to educate, develop leadership, create new alliances, and establish networks that can advocate towards the normalization of US – Cuba relations.
There are many benefits to Jesus’ visit. Not only does it reignite a twelve-year absence of visits from Cuban diplomats to Minnesota, but it leaves a lasting impression on-the-ground. The meetings and presentations held from March 26 – 28 not only informed the First Secretary of the work we are individually doing locally, nationally and globally, but they also allowed us to recognize each other’s efforts in order to design collaborative proposals. Our future work inspired by these encounters will allow us to move forward in unison towards bettering diplomatic relations between nations.
As many of you may know, Jesús Perz Calderón’s visit stems from a letter Ofunshi Oba Koso, President of the Minnesota Yoruba Cuba Association, wrote to President Obama. Ofunshi’s letter requests Obama to initiate direct, high level dialogue with the Cuban government, exercise his executive authority to remove Cuba from the United States’ list of state sponsors of terrorism, and utilize his executive authority to lift restrictions on the Cuba travel ban that limits religious, educational, and cultural licenses. Ofunshi’s voice was heard and the reception Jesus received by all of you reified the solidarity that makes our local community unique.
Below are some pictures from Calderón historical visit to Minnesota, from panels and lectures to roundtables and one-on-one meetings. We encourage you to continue developing the initiatives set forth during Jesus’ visit that aim towards building bridges between the United States and Cuba.