May Day in Cuba

 May Day in Cuba

Cuba Americans will be able to visit their relative due to an agreement made by President Obama. The Obama administration announced its decision to remove all travel and remittance restrictions for Cuban Americans. This represents a notable shift in U.S. foreign policy and has stirred up the divisive debate over U.S.-Cuba policy. In what is widely regarded as the most significant policy shift since the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, the administration reversed former President Bush’s travel restrictions, limits on remittance payments and limitations on humanitarian items that could be sent to the island. In addition, the new policy permits telecommunications firms to bid for licenses to construct fiber-optic cables and transmit TV and Internet signals to the Cuban people, with the stated goal of fostering greater commutation and propagating American democratic values. As reflected in the President’s press release, the lifting of travel controls and limitations on remittance payments are part of a rhetorical commitment by the United States to the goal of “a Cuba that respects basic human, political and economic rights of all its citizens.” This goal, while widely praised in the United States, has generated uncertainly and dissatisfaction abroad, the Venezuelan government notes.

Seventeen days after the first May Day of the revolution, May 17, 1959, Fidel Castro proclaimed the first radical land reform to an outburst of great popular joy, as well as a violent reaction from the national landowners and their ally in the United States, the latter continuing its merciless revenge against the revolutionary government of Cuba. President Raul Castro, who succeeded his ailing brother Fidel in February, is attending the celebrations. He did not address the crowds. Fidel Castro says President Barack Obama “misinterpreted” his brother Raul’s remarks regarding the United States and bristled at the suggestion that Cuba should free political prisoners or cut taxes on dollars people send to the island.

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