Dec 20, 2014 08:08 PM EST
Though the embargo has not yet been lifted, this past week indicated a change in diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba after nearly 53 years of political divide. Wednesday, Dec. 17, marked a unique turnaround between the island nation and the US in terms of political and economic relations when US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro delivered addresses simultaneously aired, sparking hope and conversation about their future together. But this morning, Dec. 20, after President Castro's speech for the twice-annual legislative session held at the National Assembly in Havana, Cuba, many are questioning whether or not plans may fall through with the prevailing communism underlying the nation of Cuba.
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.
"In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries" President Obama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."
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. But after the long speech given by President Castro Saturday morning, questions remain as to the loyalties of Cuba, and what sort of dealt the US may be able to work out with its Communistic leader.
"Every country has the inalienable right to choose its own political systems" President Castro said in a speech before Cuba's National Assembly, Dec. 20. "In the same way that we have never demanded that the United States change its political system, we will demand respect for ours."
Both nations are currently in talks regarding lifting the current embargo, and allowing for more political freedom in the exchange of people and goods across both borders, however, Castro reaffirmed that in order for the discussions to be successful both parties will have to leave aside preconceived notions of one another and move forward on a new note, looking towards a mutually prosperous future.
President Castro ended his speech by saying that, "The only way to advance is with mutual respect."
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