Americas

US Enables Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

Relations between the United States and Cuba are improving after the US lifted limits restricting Cuban products

November 03rd, 2016
Giulia G. Angelini, CD News
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The relations between the United States and Cuba have been improving since the US embargo against Cuba was lifted. Cuba is known to be the top producer of sugar, cigars and rum, which are symbols of Cuban identity. 

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba broke off in 1961 and the embargo on Cuba started in 1962. The embargo against Cuba has been forbidding the purchase and import of Cuban products, such as cigars and other goods, to the US for 54 years.

The United States and Cuba planned to re-establish diplomatic relations in 2014 by relocating the Embassy of the United States in Havana and by reducing travel restrictions for Americans to the island. Moreover, President Obama was the first American president to visit Cuba and to engage in diplomatic conversations with the current Cuban leader Raúl Castro for 90 years.

On October 14th 2016, President Obama delivered a directive which enabled Americans to engage in more commerce with Cuba. For example, Cuban pharmaceutical companies are now able to sell their low-cost and innovative medications to the United States.

President Obama issued a directive which he said, “takes a comprehensive and whole-of-government approach to promote engagement with the Cuban government and people, and make [the American] opening to Cuba irreversible”. This directive issued by Obama is undoubtedly a step forward in the re-establishment of relations between the US and Cuba.

Diplomacy has been the key to communication between the two countries creating a discussion and agreement for both sides. Cuban goods are also important for the economic and social growth of the island and its people. Furthermore, the introduction of Cuban goods to the American market will be an opportunity for people to experience the essence of Cuban culture in the future. According to Cuban tobacco grower Máximo Perez, the first thing Cubans have to do with the Americans is to awaken an interest for the product.

The renewed contact between the US and Cuba is a crucial and real change in the history of diplomacy. As the American-Cuban poet Richard Blanco recited at Obama’s second inauguration: “Hear the doors we open for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom, buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos días in the language my mother taught me—in every language spoken into one wind carrying our lives without prejudice”.

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Cultural Diplomacy News