Cuban exile community divided over Obama changes

Laura Wides-Munoz and Gisela Salomon
Associated Press

Miami — Some Cuban exiles in Miami are outraged. Others are ecstatic that President Barack Obama has secretly arranged prisoner exchanges with Cuban leader Raul Castro as part of an effort to normalize relations.

Exile Jose Basulto heads Brothers to the Rescue, a group whose planes dropped leaflets over Cuba. He’s happy that former USAID subcontractor Alan Gross is out of a Cuban prison, but dismayed that three convicted Cuban spies were being released in exchange.

One of those spies has been serving a life term for shooting down one of his group’s planes.

Another exile, hardliner Remedios Diaz-Oliver, says Obama has betrayed the people of both countries.

But some younger Cuban-Americans disagree. Daniel Lafuente is 27 and the son of exiles, and says he’s thrilled by the changes announced Wednesday.