SEIU Local 1199
Amy Goodman interview
In July 2015, Amy Goodman interviewed several commentators on the resumption of US-Cuba diplomatic relations.
- Hundreds of dignitaries from Cuba and the United States gathered in Washington on Monday to mark the reopening of the Cuban Embassy after being closed for more than five decades. We speak to Congressmembers Raúl Grijalva and Barbara Lee; actor Danny Glover; former U.S. diplomat Wayne Smith; attorneys Michael Smith and Michael Ratner, who co-authored "Who Killed Che?: How the CIA Got Away with Murder"; Phyllis Bennis and James Early of the Institute for Policy Studies; and others. The others included Estela Vazquez.
ESTELA VÁZQUEZ: My name is Estela Vázquez. I’m an executive vice president of 1199 SEIU. And I am here representing 400,000 members of 1199 that are celebrating, along with all the peace-loving people worldwide, the re-establishment of relations between Cuba and the United States. This is the culmination of 54 years of struggle. And it was gained on the terms of the Cuban people, with mutual respect and without imposing conditions on Cuba. So we welcome this re-establishment of relationship.
AMY GOODMAN: Why is this important to your union membership?
ESTELA VÁZQUEZ: Because it’s a question of human rights. It’s a question of respect for the self-determination of the Cuban people. And our union has been, for 54 years, calling for the end of the blockade, normalization of relations, freedom for the Cuban Five. And finally, we see the achievement today. .