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The thaw in relations continued in the months that followed. blacklist was a major obstacle to normalization talks. In early 2016, President Obama took another significant step down the normalization path, visiting Havana in what was the first trip to Cuba by a sitting U. president since Calvin Coolidge toured the island in 1928. But there is disagreement in Washington on what the United States should do to encourage that process, particularly on the question of the trade embargo, the last major diplomatic obstacle on the road to normal U. Most Democrats, along with some Republicans, support ending the embargo forthwith, which they hope will spur further liberalization and human rights improvements in Cuba.
Obama and Castro surprised the world in late 2014, announcing that their governments would restore full diplomatic ties and begin to ease more than fifty years of bilateral tensions. airlines began offering service between the countries for the first time in more than fifty years. government’s treatment of Cubans in line with its handling of other undocumented immigrants. political parties want to see the Cuban government improve its human rights record as part of significant political and economic reforms.
The historic moment marked the culmination of eighteen months of secret diplomacy brokered by Pope Francis in which the parties agreed to an exchange of prisoners, including intelligence officers and a U. Agency for International Development (USAID) contractor, among other concessions. travel and financial restrictions with regard to Cuba. Days before leaving office in January 2017, Obama repealed the so-called “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which had since 1995 allowed Cubans who reached U. shores without authorization to pursue permanent residency there. The Cuban government welcomed the change and agreed to allow back into the country all Cubans removed by the United States. Human Rights Watch reported that Cuban authorities continued to “to repress dissent and discourage public criticism" in 2016, and the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation documented a total of 9,940 arbitrary detentions that year.
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla told the U. General Assembly that early results from its investigation have to date "found no evidence whatsoever that could confirm the causes or the origin" of the incidents, though the inquiry is continuing."It would be unfortunate if a matter of this nature is politicized," Rodriguez added in a speech that also laid into U. President Donald Trump as a leader with a "supremacist vision" of "America First." Trump had slammed Cuba's leadership as "corrupt and destabilizing" in his own General Assembly speech Tuesday.
At least 21 Americans and several Canadians in Havana's diplomatic community have suffered hearing loss and other symptoms believed to have come from some sort of sonic attack.
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But Trump has taken steps to roll back the rapprochement since he took office in January. wouldn't consider lifting those and other restrictions unless Cuba returned fugitives and made a series of internal changes, including freeing political prisoners and holding free elections. The Cuban president sent for the top American envoy in the country to address grave concerns about a spate of U. Rodriguez rebuked Trump over his "America First" policy, celebration of national sovereignty and view of patriotism."It embodies an exceptionalist and supremacist vision of ignorant intolerance in the face of diverse political, economic, social and cultural models," Rodriguez said.
While he kept some elements of predecessor President Barack Obama's policy, Trump announced this summer that the U. would impose new limits on Americans traveling to Cuba and ban any payments to the military-linked conglomerate that controls much of the island's tourism industry.
During the half century that followed, successive U. administrations pursued policies intended to isolate the island country economically and diplomatically. election, presidential candidate Barack Obama said that it was time for the United States to “pursue direct diplomacy” with Cuba, and pledged that he would as president meet with Raul Castro, who had recently replaced his brother Fidel as leader.
The United States has sanctioned Cuba longer than any other country. trade restrictions cost the country .6 billion in economic damages in 2015 and a total of 6 billion since the start of the embargo. Several weeks after taking office, the Obama administration eased restrictions on remittances and travel, allowing Cuban Americans to send unlimited funds into Cuba and permitting U. citizens to travel to Cuba for religious and educational purposes.
Castro has said he will step down in 2018, at the end of his second term, and municipal elections are scheduled for late November 2017 as the first step in the process of electing a new leader.