30 May 2015

Cuba/US relations

From This Way Up, 12:35 pm on 30 May 2015

Relations between the US and Cuba have been frosty for more than 50 years.

That's reinforced by a travel and trade embargo that stops Cuban goods like rum or cigars being legally sold in America, and prevents American tourists from travelling direct between the 2 countries.

But the relationship is improving. In December, the US President Barack Obama and the Cuban President Raul Castro told the world they would re-establish diplomatic ties and work towards relaxing these economic restrictions.

Among the people who stand to benefit from a closer relationship between the two countries are technology and tourism businesses, lawyers, and expatriate Cubans wanting to return home with money to invest. But it could be bad news for nearby Caribbean tourism hotspots like Puerto Rico.

David Usborne is the US Editor of The Independent. He's just returned from a visit to Cuba to see the impact this thaw in diplomatic relations is having.