We Cubans who live on the island have already felt a noticeable initial benefit from the announced accords: we have felt how a political tension that we have lived in for too many years has begun to ease, and we can already feel it is possible to rebuild our relationship with a neighbour that is too powerful and too close, and relate to each other if not in a friendly way, then at least in a cordial, civilised manner
All Cubans felt they were part of something historic when President Obama announced the reestablishment of relations with Cuba, on December 17th, 2015. Most of us received the news with joy and hope, others felt defeated or even betrayed, and a small group didn’t know how to feel about it. However, we can say, for sure, it was a shock for everyone. Three weeks later, Mr. Obama announced some of the new measures his Government would implement. US citizens will be able to travel to Cuba a lot easier, Cuba will allow bigger remittances, banking relations, trade, improvement in information and communications, as well as economic help to entrepreneurs. This could help erase the fears foreign investors could have regarding Cuba. On the other hand, Cubans are not sure how this will play out within the country. The Government will change some internal measures to take advantage of the situation and stop the potential dangers. In addition, the people don’t know if the country is prepared for this new era. “Cuba today is a country with serious problems of infrastructure in communications, roads, transportation, buildings and other areas.” The lack of resources makes everything more difficult, like getting things that visitors want while in the island, creating even more difficulties for domestic consumption. Small businesses will be the first to benefit from the massive arrival of tourists. There are not enough hotel rooms in Havana, for example (they are all owned by the Government), so part of the money will go to the hands of self-employed people, who could make big profits. So now, Cubans feel “something similar to waking up from a nightmare from which almost none of us believed we could escape. And with our eyes wide open, we can catch a glimpse of the future”.