Developments in the improving Cuban-American relations have continued this past month, seen in a planned discussion on human rights between representatives of both nations on Tuesday, March 31. In the words of Pedro Luis Pedroso, Cuba’s deputy director for multilateral affairs and international law, “these conversations about human rights show that Cuba is ready to discuss any topic with the U.S., despite our differences, and from a basis of equality.” One of the hopes for the meetings is that it will make more concrete steps towards the creation of a US Embassy on the island.
Since the beginning of this year, there have been significant changes in Cuban-American relations, many of which had been in place since the Cold War era. In January, the Obama administration announced that it believed the attempt at isolation had failed and that it would further lift restrictions on travel and commerce in Cuba.
Under these new rules, the US plans on opening an embassy in Cuba for the first time since President Kennedy was in office. The US will also reevaluate whether or not the nation should be considered a supporter of terrorism. As for the interactions of the private sphere with Cuba, American citizens will also now be able to use credit and debit cards on the island, many formerly banned products will be allowed back into the US, money transfer will be permitted, and American companies like telephone and internet corporations will be allowed to work in Cuba.
Camila Novo-Viano ‘18