The Restored U.S.-Cuba Relations | Independent Newspapers Limited
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The Restored U.S.-Cuba Relations

Posted: Jul 29, 2015 at 3:08 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The reports that United States of America (USA) and Cuba have restored their diplomatic ties after 54 years of diplomatic severance is, indeed, a welcome development and opens a new vista in the management of diplomatic logjams round the world. The two countries severed diplomatic relations in 1961 culminating in the imposition of excruciating economic sanctions on the Latin American country by the U.S. As a consequence; both Nations have been represented in each other’s capitals by only limited service Interest sections.

It is instructive to note that the severance of the U.S/ Cuba diplomatic relation stemmed from the 1956 revolution in Cuba by Fidel Castro as he led a group of rebels to dethrone the then Cuban leader, Fulgencio Batista who wittingly or unwittingly was an ally of the U.S. But shortly after Castro took over the reins of the leadership in Cuba; it became clear to the U.S that the country would no longer be its easygoing neighbour. More so, Castro declined instituting the democratic reforms that many Cubans had hoped for. He rather became a communist and identified with the communist countries in the United Nations (UN). Furthermore, Castro began to encourage anti-US sentiments in Cuba. Information available reveals that in 1960, the defunct Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) instituted a trade-aid deal with Cuba. This resulted in U.S sugar producers pushing for the country to stop buying sugar from Cuba. These among others factors necessitated a lot of complications in the diplomatic relations between both countries as they ostensibly did not go down well with the U.S.

Eventually, in late October of 1960, the U.S. imposed a strict embargo barring two-thirds of American imports from Cuba. Unfortunately, a whopping 70 per cent of Cuban imports were from the U.S. That year, the U.S closed down its embassy in Havana and recalled her ambassador, Philip W. Bonsal from Cuba.

Nevertheless, it is gratifying that 54 years after, the U.S/Cuba relations have been restored. This development is remarkable to the extent that both countries can once more begin to host trade missions, which a mere Interest section in both countries could not do. What this implies is that both countries would begin to adhere to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), which was adopted on 22 May 1969. We applaud the U.S government for this diplomatic achievement.

But beyond this, it is crucial to mention that Cubans may not be satisfied with the restoration of economic relations alone. This newspaper believes that there are probably a plethora of other issues, which the U.S/Cuba relation restoration should address. Indeed, there are issues of the flow of tourism, reparations of nationalised properties, human rights that have continued to bedevil Cuba. We believe that these are issues that both governments must address to ensure a much more satisfactory relations to the citizens of both countries.

There is no doubt that Cuba is a much more economically deprived country than U.S. Therefore, we believe it is important that the various negotiations under the new U.S/Cuba diplomatic relations, especially on trade and investment in the coming months have to be done in the context of what will help the Cuban people more. It is our hope that this development would give the U.S the impetus to help Cuba that has been operating communism since 1959, towards a progressive entrenchment of democratic norms in the country.

Ultimately, much as we are aware that some of the terms of reference in the new U.S/Cuba relation are subject to U.S congress approval, we implore President Barack Obama and his team to be resolute and ensure tactical measures that would get congress to support this diplomatic process in the interest of the people of both countries.