America may just have acquired a new friend! President Obama and Raul Castro, the leader of Cuba, have made peace for the first time in more than fifty years. The newfound peace and friendship with the country of Cuba is the result of secret talks that have been taking place over the last eighteen months. It was in these secret meetings that President Obama and Raul Castro decided to “begin a new chapter” in their relations, and end an embargo against Cuba that has been in place for years.
Why haven’t we just been friends all along? After all, Cuba is only ninety miles off the coast of Florida—so close, in fact, that some people who live in Cuba have actually swum to the shores of Florida. That story begins in 1960, at a time of great conflict between many nations. When Cuba decided to side with Russia, who was not our friend at the time, U.S. President Eisenhower made the choice to end trading with Cuba.
Now that our countries have decided to make up, though, we can begin trading goods with Cuba, something that will definitely help both our and Cuba’s economy. This is a big step towards greater friendships in the future.
The decision to begin trading with Cuba is one that President Obama has been reaching towards for a long time. In 2011, he relaxed travel restrictions to and from the country, but it took eighteen long months of talks to reach an agreement. Leaders from other countries, such as Pope Francis and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, added their advice and helped to truly end the feud to make us united again. Mr. Castro seems to have high hopes for our friendship as well. Recently after talking with President Obama, he broadcasted on TV, stating: “The progress made in our exchanges proves that it is possible to find solutions to many problems.”