The historic visit made by U.S. President Barack Obama to Cuba from March 20 to 22 has given the people in the United States who are in favor of lifting the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed against the island a new burst of energy.
In his meeting with Cuban President Raúl Castro, Obama analyzed the steps made ever since they announced their decision to reestablish diplomatic relations on December 17, 2014.
His stay in Cuba demonstrated that he is determined to fight the blockade and he made it clear that the topic must be debated in Congress, which is the only entity with the power to bring it to an end.
During his visit to Cuba, the first one by a U.S. president in nearly 90 years, Obama was accompanied by nearly 40 legislators from the two parties, including the leader of the minority lider of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and Republican Senator Jeff Flake.
The message Obama reiterated during his three-day visit to Cuba about the new course of relations with the island is in line with the increasing support within the U.S. public opinion for the president’s objectives.
Regarding this, a poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News showed that nearly 60 percent of the U.S. people support the president’s stance on the issue.
Obama repeated in each of his public appearances in Havana that Congress must put an end to the punitive measures.
When addressing representatives of the Cuban civil society at Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso, shortly before leaving for Argentina, the president said “it is about time for us to lift the embargo (blockade)” because that economic siege is an old burden that the Cuban people has been carrying on their shoulders.
As well as the unilateral sanctions, another issue remains unresolved however between the two neighboring countries; that of the North American Naval Base in Guantanamo.
The Cuban authorities request for the illegally occupied military territory to be returned, although spokespeople of Obama’s administration say that this subject is not on the agenda for discussion.
In order to arrive at normalization, Havana also insists on the cessation of the illegal broadcastings as well as the subversive programs, which are still in force but using other methods, destined to change the political system on the island.
Since the beginning of the socalled ‘thaw’ between the two nations, the Cuban side has also reiterated its willingness to discuss whichever subject the United States would like to discuss in regards to key issues on the bilateral agenda.
The presence of Obama in Havana also allowed him to refer to the political failure maintained by administrations during former decades regarding Cuba based on hostility, aggression and all types of pressure.
In this way, during his speech in the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso, the president tried to set the standard for the model of a democratic nation.
In this regard, President Raul Castro made it clear after the meeting with his North American counterpart that in the search for normal relations between Cuba and the United States, “he should not expect the Cuban people to give up their destiny which they have freely chosen with sovereignty and for which they have made huge sacrifices”.
In summary, Obama’s visit to Cuba was favorable for the interests of both nations and yet again showed evidence that the two governments have decided to advance on the long road towards the normalization of bilateral relations.Share on FB Share on TT