The Cuban Flag Flys in Washington D.C. For First Time in 5 Decades

It’s official, the United States and Cuba have reinstated diplomatic relation after five years. To mark the historic occasion, the Cuban diplomats raised the nation’s flag at its embassy in Washington D.C. while the doors of the United States in Havana flung open for the first time in many years.

Cuban Americans greeted the restoration of diplomatic ties between the two nations with mixed reactions. Consuelo Requena, a Cuban American says that it’s a good thing that things between Cuba and the US are getting better. Requena has relatives in Cuba and hopes that the new found relation will be beneficial to her fellow Cubans. She says that she hopes this agreement will mark the end of Cubans jumping in the ocean in a bid to cross over to the United States.

Others like Luz Diaz are of the opinion that there is still a lot to be done. Diaz says that calling Cuba is still “expensive and laments that the communication network is “terrible.” He adds that although the new changes are a step in the right direction, space hasn’t opened as much as most Cubans would like it open. “We want more freedom,” she says.

Even though there is still a lot to be done before full normalization of relations between the two countries is achieved, Jacksonville could see a rise in trading activities if the US expresses its interest to start trade with the island once again. Jacksonville was the primary port for Cuban trade before Fidel Castro took the reins of power.

George Gabel, the chairman of the North Florida Logistics Advisory Group, says that as more ships come in, more jobs will be created, and all businesses affected by international trade will start to thrive again. Gabel notes that the trade embargo has done more harm than good and having it lifted seems more logical.

The relation between the United States and Cuba nosedived when Fidel Castro seized power in 1959. In the height of deteriorating relations, the then President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower closed the American Embassy in Havana and soon after the Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C. was shut down.

Since then subsequent governments have shunned Cuba until April 11, 2015 when President Barack Obama shook hands with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americans in Panama, marking the first meeting between presidents of the two countries since 1961. This was after Obama’s administration had announced four months earlier that the two nations would reinstate ties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *