By the Cuba Journal staff
American poet Richard Blanco visited Cuba this week as one of a recent series of expressions of softening of relations between the United States and Cuba, according to a report by ABC News.
At President Obama’s 2012 swearing-in, Blanco became the first immigrant, first openly gay person, and first Latino to hold the title of inaugural poet.
He first returned to his parent’s homeland in the 1990s, and arrived this time to find many changes on the island.
Blanco and acclaimed Cuban-American writer Ruth Behar took a weeklong tour of Cuba that included a visit Blanco’s grandparent’s old house.
“For a moment I forgot I was in Cuba. Everything had become so much easier to do,” Blanco said of the experience.
The two writers were able to read some of their work to the people of Havana, as well as enjoy some cultural experiences such as a local restaurant and a play.
Their readings were well-received by artists around the country, many of whom have expressed interest in contributing to Blanco and Behar’s new website, called “Bridges To/From Cuba,” which will feature pieces by writers from both Cuba and the US.
According to the report, Blanco and Behar are hopeful that more change is on the way, and that conditions in Cuba will evolve in a positive way.