- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Cuban community of Little Havana in Miami expressed shock and outrage at President Obama’s announcement to open talks with communist-run Cuba, warning the normalization of relations would lead to a path of disaster and destruction for America.

“It is a betrayal,” said Carlos Munoz Fontanil in Calle Ocho, an exile community that has advocated for the fall of the Castro regime, Newsmax reported. “The talks are only going to benefit Cuba.”

His remarks came at a protest outside Cafe Versailles, a landmark spot in Little Havana, that had sprung after Mr. Obama announced his decision to forge a “new chapter” in U.S.-Cuba relations, beginning with the restoration of full diplomatic relations.

The president also vowed to work to lift a U.S. trade embargo that’s been in place since 1960.

“I knew this was going to happen,” said Osvaldo Hernandez, with the anti-Castro group Vigilia Mambisa, while carrying a sign that criticized the “betrayal” of the White House, Newsmax said.

And Felix Tirse, who came to America from Cuba 53 years ago, called Mr. Obama’s announcement an outright “lack of respect,” and said of the White House leader: “He is more communist than others,” Newsmax reported.

Another protester, Munoz Fontanil, warned the United States was “marching toward disaster, the country is marching to the left,” Newsmax reported.

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, who was born in Cuba, said that “it’s sad that the U.S. has given everything in exchange for nothing. [Cuba] is still a terrorist nation. You would hope that request for democracy or free elections or to free Cuban political prisoners would have been part of the deal.”

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