After Many Years...a Cuban Thaw

In December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced the beginning of normalizing relations between Cuba and the U.S.

Sep 25 , 2015

Last December, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced the beginning of normalizing relations between Cuba and the U.S. since the two countries severed their relationship in 1961. This relationship change has been named by the media as the “Cuban Thaw."

This thawing is due in no small part to Pope Francis who is visiting both countries this month. The Pope encouraged the secret negotiations between both countries leading up to the easing of restrictions and said in a speech to Congress, “It is my duty to build bridges and to help all men and women, in any way possible, to do the same. When countries which have been at odds resume the path of dialogue — a dialogue which may have been interrupted for the most legitimate of reasons — new opportunities open up for all.”

Image of a cathedral and street scene in Havana, CubaIn our popular new course, “Cuba on the Cusp,” we take a closer look at Cuba and the “new opportunities” the future may hold. Closed off from the United States for over a generation, most Americans know very little about the history, culture and people of Cuba. Our panel of experts will focus on Cuba’s colonial past, the Cuban Missile Crisis, as well as Cuba’s economy, art and music.

“Cuba on the Cusp” begins September 30.

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