Cuba and the State of the Union address
It is becoming commonplace that the President of the United States refers to the state of relations with Cuba in the State of the Union address. In his speech back in 2015, he referred to the old policy of isolating Cuba as an expired policy. In 2016, he reaffirms his intention to implement policies that improve the lives of the Cuban people and calls for the lifting of the embargo.
In his words: "“Let me give you another example. Fifty years of isolating Cuba had failed to promote democracy, and set us back in Latin America. That’s why we restored diplomatic relations -- (applause) -- opened the door to travel and commerce, positioned ourselves to improve the lives of the Cuban people. (Applause.) So if you want to consolidate our leadership and credibility in the hemisphere, recognize that the Cold War is over -- lift the embargo”
Lifting the embargo would not only be the symbol of the end of the Cold War, but it would have a major impact on the economy and quality of life of the Cuban people. Since President Obama took possession of the Oval Office, he has implemented various executive measures to relax restrictions. These have had very positive effects. On December 17, 2014 President Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, announced the restoration of diplomatic relations, and then another series of measures that would continue easing the embargo.
There is still much work to do for the normalization of relations between the two nations whose governments were declared enemies for decades. The foundations are now established, however, and are irreversible. The geographical proximity and cultural affinity are two important elements to consider. Cuba will remain at 90 miles from the United States, and its emerging entrepreneurs, and their impulses to rejoin the global and regional economy, will have an inevitable impact on U.S. companies.
Those who remain close to this emerging market, understand and initiate engagement, may take advantage of the new scenario and be part of the medium-term re-emergence of the Caribbean economy.