SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The president’s call for loosening travel and trade restrictions with Cuba is an historic shift that many young Cubans living in the U.S. never thought they’d see. The United States and Cuba will discuss the possibility of diplomatic relations following an apparent prisoner exchange, which saw the release of American Alan Gross from five years of captivity.
President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro spoke on the phone this week on Tuesday in the first such presidential contact since the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s.READ MORE: Lockdown-Violating Underground Gatherings Investigated Over Recent Spate of San Jose Shootings
“This means as a start, we are establishing full diplomatic relations with Cuba. We haven’t had that in over five decades,” said Professor Harley Shaiken, chair of the Center of Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley. “It also means there will be a loosening of travel restrictions and a possible move towards relaxing the embargo.”
Much of that is controlled by Congress, Shaiken explained, but President Obama has indicated he is working towards normalizing relations with Cuba.