Following a high profile prisoner exchange, President Obama recently delivered a statement on Cuba that reverses decades of American foreign policy, which Obama called “a failed approach”. Obama introduced a series of new measures that hope to bring the United States and Cuba closer together. These include re-establishing diplomatic relations, adjusted regulations, expansion of travel to Cuba, increase in imports and exports, and the development of commercial telecommunications and internet services in Cuba. As Obama pointed out, the embargo was unfairly hurting the Cuban people, and the purpose of these new measures is to improve human rights within Cuba.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the trade embargo with Cuba costs the U.S. economy 1.2 billion dollars per year; while according to the Cuban Foreign Ministry, the U.S. trade embargo has cost the Cuban economy 1.1 trillion dollars since it was imposed 54 years ago.
While Cuban president Raúl Castro thanked Obama for removing obstacles to U.S.-Cuban relations, he stated that Cuba will not renounce communism and “the ideas for which it has fought for more than a century.”
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