Cuban-American Inaugural Poet Reflects On Normalized Cuba-U.S. Relations

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When it was announced earlier this month that the U.S. would normalize relations with Cuba, Cuban-Americans reacted. Some voiced their disapproval, others considered the move a positive one.

Among those reflecting on the change is poet Richard Blanco. He was the first immigrant, Latino, openly gay and the youngest person to be a U.S. inaugural poet. At President Obama's inauguration in 2013, Blanco read "One Today." His mother fled Cuba when she was seven months pregnant.

In the days following the announcement that Cuban-U.S. relations would be normalized, Blanco said, "There's a whole sense of what it means to be a Cuban in Miami and what it means to be a Cuban in Cuba. And now we can have a dialogue."


Richard Blanco, Maine-based Cuban-American poet, public speaker, author and civil engineer. His most recent book is a memoir, "The Prince of Los Cocuyos." He tweets @rblancopoet.


Portland Press Herald: A Talk With Maine Poet Richard Blanco

  • "The Bethel celebrity discusses his newly published memoir and his hope that 'Cuba remains Cuba.'"

Radio Boston: Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco’s New 'Memoirette'

  • "When Richard Blanco read his poem One Today at the second inaugural of Barack Obama, he was only 44 years old. That made him the youngest inaugural poet in history."

WBUR: 'Rum, Rumba, And Romance': A Book On Cuba's Enduring Mystique

  • People often tell me how fascinated they are with Cuba. I'm really dying to go there before it changes, they'll say. Or else they've already been and they can't wait to tell me what a good time they had."

This segment aired on December 30, 2014.


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