John Gregory -- Illinois Radio Network

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) hopes his trip to Cuba is the beginning of big changes for the communist country.

Speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate today (Tuesday), Durbin called his visit as part of a congressional delegation “very productive,” as he and other Democrats met with representatives of the Cuban government as well as its political opponents. One of those dissidents told Durbin the move towards normalizing relations has already had an impact on Cuba.

“He said to us, ‘What President Obama’s announcement has done is to pull the blanket off the caged bird in Cuba. Those of us who live in Cuba are still in the cage of communism, but we can see out now about opportunities and a future,’” Durbin said.

Durbin said a similar strategy worked in other communist nations around the time of the Soviet Union’s collapse.

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