With President Obama announcing America’s intentions to thaw its relations with Cuba, everyone is enthusiastically waiting to explore the sun-kissed beaches or set up a business there. However, in reality, the fun will have to wait for quite some time.
Just the increased opportunity for travel between the two countries has those with longtime ties to Cuba already thinking about the possibilities it will bring. While Cuba was a hot American tourist destination two generations ago, Fidel Castro’s communist revolution put an end to a Cuba as a vacation spot for most U.S. citizens. For many others, the fine Cuban cigars suddenly became an illegal indulgence.
However, many have seen a strong glimmer of hope in President Barrack Obama’s announcement that he had re-established diplomatic ties between the countries. But does this mean Americans will be able to rush back to Cuba to enjoy sunny weather, beaches, and casinos? Havana may be every vacationer’s dream tropical destination that is just 90 miles away, but the fun and frolic will have to wait for quite some time, caution experts on international politics and policies.
Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former State Department director of policy planning, recently discussed President Obama’s announcement.
“This is a first step, but in and of itself it is not transformational. For people who want to go there to play golf, sit in the sun and smoke cigars; that’s not going to happen at this point. And the reason is fairly simple. A surge in U.S. travel to Cuba will only come with the lifting of the embargo.”
The current Congress appears no way pleased with President Obama’s intentions about Cuba, reported CNBC. Moreover, it’s Congress and Congress alone which can effectively end the 50-year-old economic trade embargo between the U.S. and Cuba, and frankly there are no signs of that happening any time soon.
Obama’s policy shift was greeted with widespread skepticism in Congress. New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, a Cuban-American, said the move rewarded Cuba’s “brutal” treatment of political dissidents, and set a “dangerous precedent”, reported The Hill.
Apart from the disappointed tourists, there are hordes of companies who stand to gain significantly if the relations warm up, reported ABC News. Fifty years of isolation and economic pressure have created a never-before-envisaged untapped market. However, Congress will certainly act as the spoilsport to the plans of the masses.
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