(NBC News) – The U.S. will review and likely remove Cuba from its list of terrorist nations. After a year and a half of secret talks, the two countries are putting the past behind.
Three Cuban spies released by the U.S. have arrived in Havana.
In exchange, Cuba released one American spy imprisoned for 20 years, and state department contractor Alan Gross. He supports re-opening relations. “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” said Freed Cuban Prisoner Alan Gross.
The trade embargo won’t be lifted right away – Congress mandates that, but you’ll soon be able to use your debit card there.
Travel will become easier for families and tourists.
Eventually, Cuba’s famed cigars, now banned, could make their way legally to the U.S.. “Neither the American nor Cuban are well served by a rigid policy that’s rooted in events that took place before most of us were born,” said President Barack Obama.
Conservatives fear U.S. security could be at risk. “It is disgraceful for a President who claims to treasure human rights and human freedoms,” said Senator Marco Rubio, (R) Florida.
“Most of my colleagues feel that we are long past due. 50 years, 50 years,” said Senator Jeff Flake, (R) Arizona.
There’s mixed reaction in Cuban communities across America: “I think it was way overdue,” said one Cuban American.
“The time has come to allow Cubans, Americans, people of all places to go to Havana, to go to Cuba,” said Jorge Davila, Cuban American.
“Very, very disappointed I don’t want more communist system in Cuba,” said Jose Lorenzo who was born in Cuba.
“This repression will continue,” said Cuban Exile, Jose Sanchez-Gronlier.
The U.S. will open an embassy, and press for reforms to boost Cuba’s economy, signaling a new era.
After half a century, the door is now open.
The Obama Administration is already trying to sell this to our Latin American allies to the south. Vice President Biden called the leaders of Mexico and Colombia to review the new policy.