Key Biscayne Council Member Luis Lauredo was among a group of Cuban-American leaders who met with top White House officials this week about the U.S. response to protests on the island.
The session was aimed at getting “policy recommendations and concerns,” according to a statement from the White House.
“The president is very personally engaged,” said Lauredo, who praised President Joe Biden for putting out a strong statement.
Lauredo, a former ambassador to the Organization of American States, was joined by Democratic State Party Chair Manny Diaz, music industry leaders Gloria and Emilio Estefan, former Miami-Dade College President Eduardo Padron and a number of others.
The 90-minute meeting was with Cedric Richmond, a senior advisor to Biden, and Juan Gonzalez, the senior director for the Western Hemisphere for the National Security Council.
Lauredo said he’s hopeful that the response to the ongoing protests be seen not as just a U.S. response, but an international one. He also said he warned that Cuban intelligence agents may try to exploit protests in the U.S. to discredit what he sees as a true “historic moment” in Cuba.
“It’s a standard intelligence trick to try and distract from the issue,” he said, noting that there have been infiltrations of U.S. groups in the past.
Lauredo said he’s not sure there will be future meetings, but appreciated the outreach.
“This is not a partisan issue,” he said, saying he was disappointed by some Republicans who were trying to make it appear as one.
Lauredo’s participation in the meeting was first reported by Jim DeFede of WFOR-TV.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.