President Obama’s trip to Cuba marks a historic milestone in the normalization process between the United States and Cuba. Since President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced that the two countries would initiate a new era of relations 15 months ago, we have expanded cooperation across a range of areas for the benefit of the citizens of both the United States and Cuba. We are advancing our shared interests and working together on complex issues that for too long defined – and divided – our relationship. The President’s Cuba policy now allows us to more effectively improve the lives of the Cuban people, advance our interests and values, and build broader ties of cooperation across the Americas.
Normalization will be a complex, long-term process and challenges remain, but President Obama believes that engagement offers a path toward success where isolation has failed for more than 50 years. We will engage and work through challenges in order to empower the Cuban people and advance the interests of the United States.
Connecting the U.S. and Cuban People
As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, we have sought ways to increase opportunity for Americans and improve the lives of the Cuban people, including by opening the door to increased travel and commerce between our two countries. The President fundamentally believes that the best way to achieve that goal is by facilitating more interaction between the Cuban and American people, including through travel and commercial opportunities, and through more access to information. We have great confidence the steps we have taken over the past year will lead to a better future for both the American and Cuban people.