As 2014 came to a close, President Obama announced major changes to the US relations with Cuba. December 31st began the renewing of relations with Cuba after an embargo was placed on the country over 50 years ago.
Both US President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro welcome the change with enthusiasm as they announced the update over separate broadcast speeches. Though the embargo is not completely eradicated, both leaders promise to increase communication in an effort to bring the two countries into a “more civilized” relationship.
Though reactions among Americans have been mixed, the young Cuban-American population is overwhelmingly supportive of the renewed relations. NPR released statistics which show that 90% of young Cuban-Americans favor restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba.
With the embargo in place, many young Cuban-Americans grew up separated from their families in Cuba, unable to communicate or visit freely with loved ones. For these young Cuban-Americas, the embargo was more than a political barrier. Being raised in the incredibly family oriented Cuban culture, not being able to visit and interact with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even parents left the Cuban-American millennials bitter towards an outdated and rather unsuccessful political barrier.
For young Cuban-Americans and all millennials alike, understanding a world where embargos set on countries because of differing political views is tremendously hard to grasp and sympathize with. As ideas of tolerance shape the up coming generation’s core values, the embargo seems to be increasing irrelevant and unnecessary. With these values in mind, we can anticipate more positive change in Cuban and American relations, moving closer and closer to a full lift of the embargo and free interaction between the two parties.