A New Beginning
This chapter examines how Obama changed the domestic political dynamics of U.S.-Cuban relations, making new thinking about Cuba politically feasible. Obama promised to end restrictions on remittances and family travel for Cuban Americans, resume “people-to-people” educational and cultural exchanges, and engage Cuba in talks on issues of mutual interest. Engagement, he argued, offered the best hope for promoting “a democratic opening in Cuba,” which would be “the foremost objective of our policy.” As the new president took the oath of office, conditions for a rapprochement between Cuba and the United States appeared more propitious than at any time in a half century.
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