Cuba and America: Newfound Friends


by Gabby Redpath

The silent treatment: we’ve all experienced it to some small extent. Sometimes our mothers ignore us for not doing the dishes, or our friends ignore us for not remembering their birthdays. Captains of the silent treatment, The United States of America — and the majority of the world’s powers — turned a cold shoulder to Cuba during the Cold War.

Recently, though, Cuba has grown tired of their lonely and isolated existence. President Obama opened up his arms, and Cuba ran directly into them. Slowly but surely, the mangled relationship between the two countries is healing.

In 2009, President Obama began paving the long road to reach an alliance. He allowed Cuban-Americans to send funds abroad to their home country and to even visit Cuba for educational or religious reasons.

In 2012, Cuba returned the gesture. Prior to 2012, if a Cuban citizen wished to leave the country, they had to obtain an exit visa. Once this requirement was discarded, citizens could leave without having to go through such a long and difficult process.

In 2014, the road to recovery between the nations was set in stone. President Obama and President Castro agreed to restore diplomatic ties; Cuba released American prisoners and America began planning to reopen embassies between the countries.

In 2015, America removed Cuba from their list of sponsors of terrorism. Removing Cuba from a formal document of America’s enemies was an important step towards a good relationship between the two. Also, during this year, the plan to reopen embassies was finally enacted.

Just this past February, Cuban officials agreed to allow up to 110 American flights into the country every day. Along with this approval, an American factory was also approved, building it on Cuban soil. Both the flights and factory will help improve the Cuban economy. A relationship between Cuba and America will obviously benefit the deteriorating Cuban economy, but benefits for our country will arise as well.

“I feel as though the US needs a relationship with Cuba because they’re so close to us; we should ally with them for self defense reasons,” stated Oakdale Junior Tim Grenier. A country can never have too many allies; another country on America’s side can’t hurt.

“It’s a good thing to ally with Cuba because we’ll have another trading partner,” explained Oakdale Junior Nigel Basham. As a country with a widespread variety of goods available to its citizens, having trading partners will benefit our American society.

For the past seven years, this international relationship has been growing stronger, year by year. Although Cuba has stayed the same distance from America physically, relations-wise, they have continued to become closer. As time goes on, relations will continue to change, and depending on how successful the progress these countries make in the next few years, they could become the best of allies or even enemies again.