In case you haven’t heard, President Barack Obama stepped foot on Cuban soil yesterday, making him the first sitting U.S. President to do so in 88 years. 88 years. This historic three-day visit to Cuba announced by Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro back in December 2014 marks the shift in diplomatic relations (from nonexistent to a questionable maybe).
“It’s a historic opportunity to engage directly with the Cuban people,” Obama told staff at the newly reopened U.S. Embassy.
The U.S. has been giving Cuba the cold shoulder since the late 50’s when the Communist revolution ousted a pro-American government. Castro and the missile crisis were also contributing factors to the embargo placed on the country. After a little encouragement from Pope Francis however, Obama and Castro announced that the US and Cuba would have diplomatic relations once again, as verified by the opening of the US Embassy in Cuba and the easing of travel restrictions.
Obama has asked Congress to rescind the embargo placed on the Latin American country in a symbolic effort to heal wounds across the continent, but a GOP-controlled Congress means anything the POTUS says will be blocked. What else is new? Interestingly enough, many older Cuban-Americans don’t believe their home country has changed either (think: press censorship, free speech censorship, internet censorship, the president’s last name).
Read more on Obama’s visit here and tell us what you think about this new chapter in US-Cuban relations.