Cuban – American relations : A reboot

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Ankur Thakur, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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‘Change is going to happen in Cuba’ – this statement by Barack Obama speaks a mile in itself. He is the first sitting US president to visit Cuba since the 1959 revolution. All these years have seen decades of hostility between the two nations.

For decades, the US and Cuba were engaged in a bitter stand-off, triggered by the overthrow of US-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista by Communist leader Fidel Castro in 1959. As a result, US broke off diplomatic relations and imposed a trade embargo. But on 18th December 2015, US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro surprised the world by announcing that the US and Cuba would begin to normalize diplomatic and trade relations, ending 61 years of Cold War hostility.

It took two years of secret talks for President Obama which led to the announcement in December 2014 that the two countries would restore diplomatic relations. With this meeting happening in March 2016 will surely end the animosity shared by the two countries and many new trade agreements can be expected to be signed. Obama has already said that he would be announcing that Google had made a deal with the Cuban authorities to expand Cuba’s poor WiFi and broadband access. There have been a series of other agreements between the two countries since the thaw was announced, including commercial deals on telecoms and a scheduled airline service, increased co-operation on law enforcement and environmental protection.

Many Cubans are hoping their economy will receive a further boost from further openness and reforms as well as US investment.

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