President Barack Obama announced Wednesday (Dec. 17) that he intends to reestablish the United States’ relationship with Cuba.
Obama said in a statement, "Today, America chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past, so as to reach for a better future for the Cuban people, for the American people, for our entire hemisphere and for the world.”
The President laid out his plan to restore ties with Cuba. Secretary of State John Kerry is assigned to negotiate diplomatic relations with Cuba and the U.S. will reopen an embassy in Havana.
Americans will also be able to travel and do business with Cuba under the new plan; travel and trade with Cuba had been banned since the Kennedy administration CNN reports.
Obama’s announcement was met with praise from Pope Francis who had been helping the U.S. communicate with Cuba through letters, along with Canada.
"Today we're all happy, because we saw how two people who had been so far apart for so many years took a step closer yesterday," Francis said in a public statement Thursday (Dec. 18).
Publication date: December 18, 2014