LADB Article ID: 79604
By: Daniel Vázquez
The new era of relations between the US and Cuba, formally announced in December, has already produced results for the island, which has received entrepreneurs, representatives from cooperatives, and politicians, many of whom envisage multimillion-dollar sales of agricultural products to a country that has depended on food imports since it was a rich sugar colony. In just three months, the rhetoric has changed dramatically when referring to the island that was seen as a military threat, an ally of US enemies, and a guerrilla organizer in Latin America. Public opinion and US politicians now view the Caribbean enclave as a potential customer with billions of dollars to spend on equipment, supplies, and food. Economic pragmatism and ideas for potential projects seem to be proceeding at a much faster rate than the bilateral diplomatic talks. The same logic seems to be in play when entrepreneurs, farmers, and even President Barack Obama state that previous US policies failed in their objective of isolating the island from Latin America and the world and that Raúl and Fidel Castro are still in power in the communist nation. Therefore, Washington is tentatively trying to introduce other changes for the island such as easing access to information, equipment, and consumption.
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