Dec 19, 2014 07:09 PM EST
It's been a discussion decades in the making, but one whose final answer is not yet given. On two different sides of a war years ago, the United States decided once that Cuba should face an embargo thought to keep ties between the two nations as severed as could be. But with new leaders and a new collective vision for the future, not only of politics but of the two nations together, the embargo stopping free flow of products and people between the two nations may soon come to an end.
After nearly 53 years of political divide, Wednesday Dec. 17 marked a unique turnaround that may drive change between the island nation and the United States in the political sphere. Addressing the climate between both nations, and the economic relationship between them as well, US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro delivered addresses simultaneously aired, sparking hope and conversation about their future together. Though neither president defined clear agendas to place a date on when the embargo will be lifted, the measures announced suggest that the end of the embargo will soon be seen.
"In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries" President Obama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 his address on the Cuba policy changes. "Through these changes, we intend to create more opportunities for the American and Cuban people, and begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas."
The simultaneous addresses given by the two presidents has since then sparked a lively conversation regarding the two highly different tones portrayed in their speeches. While President Obama sounded hopeful for the change that has been many years in the making, President Castro stressed that the embargo remains an unresolved issue in spite of the great strides the US is making in trying to change the embargo practice. Thanking the Cuban community in the United States for their important part in shaping our nation, President Obama also sparked hope in the 11 million Cubans living on the island nation, who seek to lead Cuba into a brighter future.
"The Cuban exile community in the United States [has] made enormous contributions to our country -- in politics and business, culture and sports" President Obama said. "Like immigrants before, Cubans helped remake America, even as they felt a painful yearning for the land and families they left behind. All of this bound America and Cuba in a unique relationship, at once family and foe."
Looking to effect change as soon as possible, the US administration announced the opening of a US Embassy in Havana and the normalization of diplomatic relations, to better help strengthen ties between the two nations. In addition, Obama also announced that the Secretary of State would review the current list of nations that sponsor terrorism, and asked that the inclusion of Cuba to that list be reconsidered. Though the embargo is still far from lifted, academics in the research community for the sciences are hopeful that this collaboration between the US and Cuba may not only bring economic and politic prosperity to the two nations, but also spark international collaboration in the many subjects of sciences, bringing new Cuban scientists to the forefront of research.
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