“Isolation has not worked”, said President Obama about America’s policy towards Cuba. “It’s time for a new approach.”
December 17 marks a new beginning for relations between the US and Cuba as President Obama announced that the US would open an American Embassy in Havana, Cuba. He went on to say the US would ease economic and travel restrictions as he declared an end to America’s “outdated approach” to Cuba. This applies to family visits, educational and official US government travel. Tourist travel will still no be permitted.
Cuban President Raul Castro also addressed his own nation from Havana. Although he acknowledged the two countries still had differences, he said the two countries must learn to live with those differences in a “civilized manner”.
This announced followed up Cuba’s release of American Alan Gross who has been imprisoned in Cuba for the past five years.
Obama said he continued to have concerns over Cuba’s human rights violations but didn’t believe the current policy was effective. He said, “I do not believe we can keep doing the same thing for over five decades and expect a different result”