A Trip to Cuba


President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Cuba March 21 — a trip that has raised predictable political hackles. (To say nothing about Gitmo.)

Less problematic, at least in terms of public opinion, is the Cuba trip by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and a host of regional leaders, officials and District leaders in conjunction with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on a historic exploratory mission.

One of Bowser’s stops on the trip, scheduled to run through Thursday, was the University of Havana, where her mission (and certainly that of D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, also a member of the delegation) was to find how Cuba’s literacy, graduation rates and university and college retention rates remain consistently high. “Washington, D.C., has seen great gains in our education system,” Bowser said. “Given Cuba’s emphasis on a strong education, I know there’s a lot we can learn from each other.”

Bowser met with her counterpart, Marta Hernandez Romero, the mayor of Havana. “As one of the first U.S. city delegations in decades to visit Havana, we have put ourselves in a position to form a positive working relationship that we hope will benefit our region in years to come,” Bowser said.

With 41 persons on the trip, there must be a lot to learn from a country with which the United States is on the way to normalizing relations. Council members Jack Evans and Vincent Orange are on hand, as are Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.

Yes, sí, we’re all in this together. What’s next? How about a Washington Nationals exhibition game in Havana?

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