On Sunday, the 19 of March president Obama would be the first American president to set foot on Cuban soil in almost 90 years in an effort to restore relations between Cuba and the US.
There was much anticipation for the president’s arrival in certain areas of Havana (the capital of Cuba). A poll conducted last year indicated that Obama was better liked than Fidel Castro with over 80% of the population having “very positive” or “somewhat positive” opinion of the current president.
Obama and the Cuban President Raúl Castro, the brother of the oppressive communist leader of Cuba announced that they would restore ties that had been set up by the US trade embargo on Cuba. This embargo essentially is a set of economic sanctions against Cuba that restrict travel and trade.
Some regulation over Cuba has already been lifted (primarily on travel) although a trade embargo still remains. In order to terminate trade sanctions put in place during the cold war, Obama will still need permission from Congress.
What we must understand is that Cuba is a country with much regulation over its media with as the media is controlled by the government itself. Because of this strict regulation Obama’s message on human rights and other such issues may not be spread to the vast majority of Cubans.
Despite this, Obama’s trip will presumably become a historical trip for Cubans and Americans alike.
For the people of Cuba, this trip can help people in terms of their liberties and freedoms as currently the people of Cuba are quite literally shut off from the outside world, with the lack of the internet. With increased travel benefits shop owners, restaurant owners and US companies as AirBnB have gone into Cuba. They say this is their fastest growing market. This increase in travel to Cuba from the US is because of the vast amounts of Cuban origin Americans.