Written by Lahiru Fernando
18 Dec, 2014 | 2:00 pm
President of the United States, Barrack Obama announced yesterday that the US will be re-establishing diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba while easing on the trade and travel restrictions implemented in 1963.
The United States will be restoring its US Embassy in Havana, Cuba and Secretary of State John Kerry will review Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, a designation laid on Cuba in 1982 as the first steps towards ending the 53 year diplomatic feud between the two countries.
Pope Francis is said to have taken a big part in setting things right between the United States of America and Cuba through 18 months of secret talks which lead to a prisoner swap and ended with a telephone call between President Obama and Raúl Castro, the President of Cuba.
“We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries,” President Obama said in a nationally televised statement from the White House. The deal, he added, will “begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas” and move beyond a “rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born.”
1959: Fidel Castro and his guerrilla army defeat the US-backed Cuban regime of Fulgencio Batista
1960-1961: Cuba nationalises US businesses without compensation; US breaks off diplomatic relations and imposes a trade embargo in response
1961: Failed Bay of Pigs invasion by CIA-backed Cuban exiles
1962: Soviet Union deploys ballistic missiles to Cuba, prompting Cuban Missile Crisis
2001: Five Cubans, dubbed the Cuban Five, are jailed in Miami for spying
2008: Raul Castro becomes Cuban president
2009: US citizen Alan Gross detained in Cuba accused of spying
Dec 2013: US President Barack Obama and Raul Castro shake hands at Nelson Mandela’s funeral – the first such public gesture since 1959
17 December 2014: Alan Gross is released by Cuba
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