President Barack Obama Visits Cuba
Touching down in Cuba yesterday, President Obama‘s historic trip to the island marks the first time in 88 years that a U.S. president has visited Cuba.
Stemming from half-century worth of sanctions dating back to the Cold War, Cuba, up until three years ago, was completely off-limits for most American visitors.
Why is this a big deal you ask? Well, restoring ties with an island that literally sits 90 miles from Key West, Florida, shows the rest of the world that the U.S. can be diplomatic when it comes to foreign affairs.
Oh, and let’s not forget lifting these antiquated sanctions open up the Communist-controlled country to foreign investments, which has already begun to spur private sector business in the otherwise socialistic, repressive regime.
In conversations with CNN about his trip, the President said, “My view is that this is the beginning, not the end, of what is going to be a journey that takes some time.”
He continued saying, “This is a matter of us engaging directly with the Cuban people and being able to have candid, tough conversations directly with the Cuban government,” Obama said. “We will have more influence and have greater capacity to advocate on behalf of the values that we care about when we’re actually talking to them.”
So, yes, the President visiting Cuba after three years effort of restoring ties with the country is HUGE deal.
This is also a great case study for how the U.S. should engage “adversaries” when it comes to “trying” to help citizens of oppressed countries.
With all that said, it will now be much easier to get Cuban cigars! All you have to do now is schedule a charter plane to Cuba (no big deal), but I imagine that will change very soon as commercial airlines gear up for routine flight schedules.