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NPR Interviews Center for Urban Studies’ Director Henry Louis Taylor Jr.

As the United States and Cuba slowly resume diplomatic relations, one of the biggest question marks has been what effect these changes will have on the people of Cuba.

The reopening of the barriers between the two countries offers new opportunities for improvement in the quality of life for Cubans, promising major growth in Cuban tourism and more freedom for the transfer of remittances – money sent from the U.S. that goes directly to people in Cuba.

However, these potential improvements are not without risk. Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Henry Louis Taylor Jr., a professor and director of the Center for Urban Studies at SUNY Buffalo in New York, who has visited Cuba every year since 1999 to interview Cuban citizens about life in the country.

He warns that while there are major positives to the deal, it has its negatives as well.

To listen to the full audio click here.

 

 

Tackling the region’s racial divide

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration Wednesday embarked on the federal government’s most proactive effort ever to reduce housing segregation in places such as Buffalo, the nation’s sixth-most segregated metro area.

But the new federal desegregation rule – which will require communities to consider patterns of segregation and ways to reduce it in their zoning and planning decisions – faces as many obstacles as a poor black family looking for affordable housing in one of America’s wealthiest suburbs.

Congressional Republicans are refusing to fund the effort.

Fair housing advocates, while praising the plan, say that much more needs to be done on the local level to stop the ongoing resegregation of neighborhoods into black and white.