Obama’s visit to Cuba
A new era in relations
This is the first visit by an American president to Cuba in 88 years. We hope that this historicvisit by President Obama will pave the way for the complete removal of hostility that has plagued the two nations since the 1962 Cubanmissile crisis. The visit is groundbreaking because it was a US-led economic embargo that was imposed on the island nation since the Cuban revolution of 1959, and today it is an American president who has made the trip to meet his counterpart. The unfriendly environment that had till lately dictated relationship between the two countries was reminiscent of the Cold War that was left to fester long after its end, and it is time to move on.
That US-Cuba relations have begun to thaw is welcome news. However, the road to full normalisation of relations is dependent on a number of factors. That will depend a lot on how negotiations go between the two States, particularly on the question of political prisoners. There is a lot of opposition to the lifting of the embargo, a key demand on the Cuban side, in the US Congress that is largely controlled by Republicans.
It is perhaps too early to make predictions on what the next steps will be in terms of diplomatic overtures by either side, but the fact is that two adversaries of more than half a century have decided to leave the past behind, as made eminently clear in the words of President Obama that one cannot keep on doing the same things and expect new results.