Separated by 90 miles of water, waves of distrust, and a history of political warfare, it seems there is change on the horizon between U.S. and Cuban relations.
In a poll done by Univision, US President, Barack Obama, was shown to be more popular than both Raul Castro and Fidel Castro among Cuban residents today. In the poll made up of 1,200 Cuban residents, opinions showed sides in favor of a warmer climate between the United States and Cuba, shown by the US-housed media company that could further mend relations between the countries.
Since the an announcement in 2014 that produced a prisoner swap negotiated with the help of Pope Francis, concluded by a telephone call between U.S. President Obama and Cuban President Castro, both countries have made efforts in realigning differences from the past.
Today, Cubans have expressed widespread dissatisfaction with the current situation on the island. Approximately 70 percent of respondents said they would like to start their own businesses. Cuba, a communist state, is one of the few nearby countries who do not utilize an open capitalist economic system.
The poll made by the American based company (Univision), showed 79 percent of respondents said they were “not too satisfied” or “not all satisfied” with the economic system in Cuba. Meanwhile, 97 percent said normalization of diplomatic relations with the U.S. is “good for Cuba” and 64 percent said they think that new relationship will change the economic system.
The meeting on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas was an important step for Obama as he sought to ease tensions with Cuba, and defuse a generations-old dispute that has also affected relations with the other countries of the region, reported The New York Times.
In addition, Mr. Castro said he wanted to see the United States trade embargo against Cuba lifted, which Obama has already called on Congress to do.
These changes come as a result of Raul’s older brother, Fidel, establishing the first communist state in the Western Hemisphere in 1959, after spearheading a revolution over-throwing Fulgenci Batista, the nation’s American-backed president. For the next two years, officials at the U.S. State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) attempted to push Castro from power, and since then, the have held a shaky relationship with the new-found leader, until now, as Raul Castro attempts to spearhead a new future for Cuba.