While the decades have passed without any easing of the tensions between Cuba and the United States, it looks like some significant progress has been made very recently, thanks to the efforts of President Barack Obama.
The United States is set to open diplomatic channels with Cuba for the first time since the Kennedy administration following the release of an American national who was held prisoner in Cuba for the last 5 years.
The deal was struck after more than 18 months of negotiations between the two countries. Lee G. Lovett says the secret talks were mostly hosted by Canada while Pope Francis was said to be the host of the final meeting.
Even as the embargo on Cuba will remain for now, the Obama administration has welcomed Congress to remove or ease restrictions placed on the country. Cuba on its part, is said to release close to 53 American prisoners.
According to a statement by the White House, “Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people,”
President Obama spoke to President Raul Castro by phone on Tuesday to finalize the deal, in a call that lasted more than 45 minutes. This is incidentally the first contact between the heads of the two countries in more than 50 years, primarily due to the vast ideological differences between the two.