President Obama Went to Cuba and it’s Kind of a Big Deal

President Obama has long been seen as a radical proponent for change in his nearly eight years in office, and his diplomatic visit to Cuba to meet with Raúl Castro could be one of his most controversial moves yet. Air Force One landed in Havana on March 21st, and the president met with the leader of the country frozen in time to discuss relations between the two nations. Obama tweeted in February, “Next month, I’ll travel to Cuba to advance our progress and efforts that can improve the lives of the Cuban people.”

 

Since 2014, Castro and Obama have been working toward easing trade and travel embargoes between the nations and creating peaceful diplomatic relations following the Cold War. Despite the official end of the war in 1991, anti-Communist sentiment has left America anxious to begin any kind of relationship with the nation that is still ruled under the Castro family.

 

 

The trip aims to improve business between the U.S. and Cuba, allowing for modernization to begin in the country that was previously frozen in time. The streets of Cuba are lined with antique cars and most technologies are outdated, due to the embargo of industrial parts and commerce on the country imposed during the Cold War. Though the travel ban has been lifted in the country, Americans cannot yet call Cuba their next vacation destination. Before modernizing, Cuba and America need to sort out their issues. The president and his family met with Castro last week to discuss these issues, but not without a lot of backlash from both American and Cuban figureheads.

 

Most former GOP presidential candidates weighed in on the President’s decision, condemning it for a myriad of reasons. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson believed the president foolish for visiting the country before new leadership could be instated, whereas Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, claimed Obama’s actions merely perpetuate Communist dictatorial interest.

 

So what does this visit really mean? Basically, if Obama and Castro can resolve issues between these two nations, Americans will see some major changes, starting with the ability to go on Spring break in the newly opened country. On top of that, modern technologies can be introduced, creating a stable economic tie between the U.S. and Cuba, as well as changing the Cuban technological landscape entirely. In twenty years, Cuba will look entirely different, and Americans will view it as another tourist location for the summer. But the possibility of a strong economic bond between these nations could be vital to both of our economies. America’s anti-Communist rhetoric has prevented us from protecting the human rights of the Cuban people, but hopefully the president’s visit will spark more efforts for change.