In Miami’s Little Havana residents are following Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Cuba with a critical eye. The first visit by a US President in almost 90 years continues the Cuban Thaw between the two former Cold War foes, but it has divided opinion in the neighbourhood largely populated by Cuban immigrants.
After decades of isolation some have greeted the news of Obama’s visit to Havana on March 20 with pleasure.“(It’s) gonna be good, for Cuba and the United States,” one elderly resident told our reporter.
Weighing up the rapprochement, one young resident said, “I like that fact that we are opening up to Cuba now, but I hate the fact that everything is in Cuba’s favour.”
From Little Havana to Capitol Hill, some political analysts in Washington want to see a whole new game plan, particularly when it comes to economic policy.
“I think what the president has left to do, what he can do, is to allow Cuba to join the international financial institutions. Strengthening the Cuban economy would be the real game changer,” explained Rachel DeLevie-Orey, Latin America analyst, at the Atlantic Council.
Havana is insisting that the US drop its trade embargo, something which Congress so far refuses to do. Euronews correspondent Dr Stefan Grobe in Washington says:
“President Obama’s dramatic changes of the US Cuba policy have come entirely through executive action. And he has widespread support among Americans, Cubans and in the rest of Latin America. What remains is hard-core opposition from Republicans in Congress – but that might change after the November election.”