Many expectations around the future of Cuba-U.S. relations have been generated since the announcements made on December 17, 2014, by the presidents of Cuba and the United States, regarding their interest in reestablishing diplomatic ties severed for over 50 years.
This July 1, after receiving the news that diplomatic missions will be opened on July 20 in both Havana and Washington, Granma took to the streets to find out what the public think about the matter which represents just “one step on a long and complicated road toward normalizing relations.”
“The news regarding the opening of embassies in Havana and Washington is interesting in the context of reestablishing diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S., a complicated process which in order to be realized, will require more time and other decisions such as the lifting of the blockade, which has impeded our country’s development, for example.” (Ángel Curbelo Duarte, retired)
“The steps being taken are good. This should undoubtedly benefit both our countries, well the time had arrived to overcome so many years of hostility. The new generation is expextantly following the process of reestablishing diplomatic relations, which must above all, include ending the blockade, a concrete expression of “good will.” (Diana Brito Páez, History graduate)
“It has been many years of difficulty. This recent decision by both governments is very brave, but we must be wary as Obama himself has recognized that although the approach toward Cuba is changing, the objectives remain the same. On ending the blockade, it’s worth highlighting compensation for the damages it has caused us. This is one of the greatest obstacles on the road toward normalization.” (Adonis Vizcay Ortiz, self-employed worker)
“It is a step forward in the process of normalizing diplomatic relations between both countries, but shouldn’t be interpreted as full reestablishment, given that this is only a first step. Obama is only one part of the machine which determines U.S. policy toward Cuba. It would be very positive if the demands made were fulfilled, rather than ending up as simply statements on matters of interest for both countries. Another important element is that said events could represent a problem for Cuba, as any opening could provide space for the U.S. to act, given that since the beginning they have recognized that their objectives have not changed.” (Dianelis Forestal Mejías, International Relations graduate)
“The opening of embassies is a positive and important step in the context of the process of reestablishing diplomatic relations initiated last December 17. Obviously, as Obama himself has said, U.S. policy toward Cuba has failed, and this shows it. It undoubtedly represents a step forward; above all in regards to bringing both peoples closer together, as U.S. citizens have expressed positive sentiments toward Cuba.” (Manuel Forestal Brimes, civil servant of the Revolutionary Armed Forces)
“The news of the opening of embassies is positive; it means we are advancing in reestablishing relations, a process which could generate many benefits in the professional arena, from the point of view of access to modern technology.” (Sergio Rángel Álvarez, Cybernetics student)
OPINIONS POSTED ON GRANMA’S WEBSITE
Great, and at a time when our country’s prestige is growing. There is no need to be afraid, but continually willing to engage in dialogue, as they have a lot to learn from us, while we have the moral and ethical behavior to visibly influence the future of that great nation, which can contribute a lot to the world; not war and death as they have been doing to date.
Gualterio Núñez Estrada
The next step to de facto normalization of relations between Cuba and the U.S. is in the hands of the U.S. congress to decide: 1) An end to the blockade against Cuba. 2) Normalization of migratory regulations (ending the Cuban Adjustment Act). 3) Protocol for the devolution of the Guantánamo Naval Base territory.
Gerardo Elías Llanes
The Cuban people and in particular the Cuban youth have been eagerly awaiting this piece of news; it will open up new opportunities for our country, it’s a change which affects us all and which we should view positively, the only problem that remains is whether the U.S.’s position will be maintained when the current president is no longer in power and someone else takes over the position.
My respect and admiration for President Barack Obama, what he has said today will go down in history. We must not be prisoners of the past; we are living in new times and if we want to change the world for the better we must act in accordance with how the planet is evolving. These advances have been realized thanks to the intelligence of both leaders, now the next step is not far off and soon we will break this leash… (the blockade) isn’t working.
Eduardo Zambrana Álvarez
My respect and admiration for President Raúl Castro, for his courageous and firm decision, when he stated that we are willing to converse - on a basis of respect and without renouncing our principles - not only with the United States, but with any other nation, on any topic, “dignity first and the rest later…”
A big step forward, the fruit of the negotiations, an historic moment in our history. It is the fruit of consensual negotiations and without imposing conditions on one another, always thinking of the people who above all need prosperity and development. Long live Cuba and long live the Revolution, we continue forward!!!!!!!!!!!