Some codifiers of anniversaries have already consecrated Dec. 17, 2014 as a key reference to mark the reestablishment of normal ties between the United States and Cuba.
I prefer them to those who prioritize diplomatic formalization because the date — when Barack Obama and Raúl Castro made simultaneous statements — marks the start of the process. Especially noteworthy is Obama’s statement, for its express recognition of the failure of Washington’s policy and his willingness to change it. Though the statement had some ifs and buts, it did not raise prior conditions that Cuba might not have accepted.
I think that, from that moment on, none of the steps taken (and some steps have been taken, though the essentials remain undone) have been as significant as President Obama’s visit to the island March 21-22 will be. Since the announcement was made, it has been recalled that he is the second White House resident to do so, the first being Calvin Coolidge in 1928, during the peak of the Machado presidency.