In December of 2014, United States President Barack Obama made a monumental announcement that he planned to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba after the 50-year embargo. The embargo was to be kept in place, but steps were to be taken to loosen it. An embassy was to be built in Cuba to increase diplomatic ties. Measures were taken to increase financial freedoms between the two countries.
On October 14th, President Obama utilized his executive powers to issue a new directive on the United States’ relationship with Cuba. The directive dictates new rules that cover a wide range of areas, from supporting medical-related business projects to reinstating normal limits on importing Cuban products for personal use.
Cuba asegura que el embargo de Estados Unidos le ha costado alrededor de $116.000 millones (USD) a la isla desde que se estableció, en 1962. En una declaración realizada el nueve de septiembre en la ONU, la nación caribeña añadió que sólo en el último año el embargo le reportó pérdidas por $3.900 millones (USD). El viceministro de relaciones exteriores, Abelardo Moreno, aseguró que en promedio Cuba pierde $2.000 millones anuales (USD) como consecuencia de las restricciones de viajes entre los dos países.1
The surprise opening to Cuba will not necessarily have dramatic effects on either country, though there will be tangible and intangible changes for both.1 For Cuba, the opening brings the prospect for a strong influx of dollars and tourists. The diplomatic opening does not allow unfettered travel, but it reduces the barriers significantly. Pitt's Study Abroad program to Cuba had to be canceled last year due to banking restrictions. That type of problem will surely disappear. Perhaps, shadowing the new policy with regards to undocumented immigrants, Ob
The suitability of the word, “rapprochement,” remains to be seen. U.S. foreign policy towards Cuba took a major swing in December with the proposed resumption of diplomatic relations for the first time in 54 years. In January, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta Jacobson, became the highest-ranking U.S. government official to visit the island in 35 years. But despite this improvement and those forthcoming, the events of the past month mean seemingly little—the embargo remains in place, as does one-party rule in Cuba.
When most North Americans hear the word “Cuba” they most likely think of communism, Fidel Castro, and baseball. These three things have truly become intertwined subjects that define Cuban baseball today.
On August 15, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry, was the first US secretary of state to visit Cuba in 70 years. His visit marks the historic end of sour relations between the US and Cuba and the re-opening of the US embassy in Havana. As he addressed the crowd, in both English and Spanish, he talked about the possibility of lifting the 54-year-old trade embargo, as well as the restoration of a true democratic system on the island.
The year is 1959. Imagine you are an American tourist. During your stay, you withdraw money from an American-owned bank, use American-owned electricity, smoke American-grown tobacco, use American-owned phone lines, buy beachwear at an American-owned store, and sleep at an American-owned hotel. Where would you guess you are vacationing?
If your guess is somewhere in the United States––Florida, perhaps––you’re within 200 miles of being correct.
On October 27th for the 24th consecutive vote on the matter, the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of Cuba to condemn the United States for continuing the embargo between the two nations. However, this particular vote comes less than a year after President Barack Obama renewed relations with the island nation after 54 years, and is Cuba’s biggest victory at the General Assembly yet.
De generación en generación, perdura en mi familia la leyenda de un negro esclavo, el padre de mi tatarabuela, que un día dicen que se marchó manigua adentro y no volvió a aparecer. Solía mi abuela concluir su relato recordando que aquel negro lucumí se había ido volando a su tierra, y pasaba enseguida a contarme otra historia.