MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There appears to be a major bump in the road in negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba regarding human rights.
So much so, it's believed to be the reason Secretary of State John Kerry has canceled his trip to Cuba ahead of the president's historic visit.
The Cuban government is balking at allowing President Barack Obama – when he travels to Cuba in late March – to speak to specific dissidents which a keystone of his visit.
Human rights issues have always been a major sticking point between the U.S. and Cuba since the Obama administration extended their hand to the Castro brothers.
News of Kerry's trip cancellation traveled through the South Florida community like wildfire.
"The Obama administration is waking up to the sad reality that we all know is that Castro will change when Castro wants to change," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Harassment, detentions, beatings have continued unabated since the president announced his policy towards Cuba and since the embassy opened up.
"Maybe it is to send the Castro regime a message: 'Clean up you act.' At least for a month, so that when Obama gets here we don't have the embarrassment of the Ladies In White, this very peaceful group, getting their heads beaten up."
"What the Cubans want out of the Americans is the tourist dollars," said Cuba policy expert Andy Gomez.
And that is happening, but Cuba, to this point, has not allowed American-based airlines, cruise ships and businesses to operate on the island nation.
So there hasn't been approval on anything, while the dissent issue has festered to the boiling point.
"I have to believe that, thinking like a Cuban, the Cubans within two, three days, the Cubans will hand to the state department and say, 'Here is a list of the dissidents you Mr. Secretary and president can meet,'" Gomez said.
It now becomes a waiting game to see if President Obama's trip is hung up on this issue.
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