Dissidents find 'Cuba outside Cuba' in Miami

May. 23, 2013 @ 03:45 PM

MIAMI — When Cuban hunger striker Guillermo Farinas arrived in Miami, he said he was prepared to face rejection from radical members of the Cuban-American community.

The reaction has been far different. Instead, he has been applauded and embraced.

Farinas and other dissidents who still live on the communist-run island are holding more face-to-face encounters with Cuban exiles in Miami since Cuba dropped its exit permit requirement for the islands' citizens in January.

In the process, both sides are starting to slowly erase misperceptions they had developed about the other during five decades of divisive policy and rhetoric following Fidel Castro's revolution.

It's too early to know what impact the encounters will have back on the island. The dissidents also have met with political leaders in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.