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Northwest Organizations With Ties To Cuba Celebrate Obama's Move To Restore Realtions

Misa Shikuma
U.S. Women and Cuban Colaboration
A delagation from the U.S. in Havana.

Northwest organizations with ties to Cuba are thrilled the U.S. and the island nation are talking. However, these groups are still trying to figure out what this means for the work they do.

One example is theU.S. Women and Cuba Collaboration. Its co-founder is Cindy Domingo, a longtime Seattle activist. For the last 10 years, she has led groups of women from the U.S. to Cuba.

Domingo’s delegations go to Cuba to learn from the women’s rights movement there; many of the things U.S. women are still fighting for, Cuban women have been able to accomplish in a short period of time.

“They have a right to free health care which gives them free reproductive health rights. They have up to a year of maternity leave with nine months of full pay with a right to return to their previous jobs,” said Domingo.

Groups from the U.S. still need a special license to travel to Cuba that often requires trips to be tied to a full time education program or humanitarian work. To comply with the rules, Domingo keeps a packed schedule.

Domingo hopes the new diplomatic warmth will make it easier for her organization to expand its work and. She’s optimistic that the restrictions for groups like hers will loosen up a bit and make it possible to have more time during visits to Cuba to do things like and hang out at the beach.  

Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.