(CNN) – On Monday morning, a historic flight took off from Miami heading to Havana, it’s the first time a commercial plane has made that journey in more than 50 years.
A U.S. official called the American Airlines flight an “important milestone” in restarting relations with Cuba.
Meanwhile, the white house says Fidel Castro’s death is unlikely to have any impact on the attempts to normalize relations between Washington and Havana.
U.S. president elect Donald Trump is threatening to roll back that deal, unless Cuba negotiates a better one.
In the shadow of this historic church, Chef Hector Santana is building his future on “angel hill” in old Havana. Santana says it’s a myth that Havana is nothing more than crumbling buildings.
Four years ago, he and his business partner, Jacqueline Fumero, opened “Cafe del Angel” or Angel Café. Since the thawing of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, he says he’s seen tourists flooding the colonial-era neighborhoods of Havana.
They had a restaurant here, it was two tables. They’re expanding here, putting tables outside and now they’re going to put four tables inside because they’re getting so much business they’re able to expand.
Santana is spending his modest profits expanding this restaurant at an uneasy time. For the first time, Cubans will now experience operating their own businesses without the ever-present gaze of Fidel Castro looming over them.
Donald Trump is threatening to “terminate” the re-established diplomatic relationship between the United States and Cuba. Trump administration officials say Cuba needs to become less repressive, free political prisoners and embrace a more open economic system.
Fumero says she doesn’t think Trump will close the door that president Obama has already opened. She says it’s like Cuban and American politicians have given a baby sweet candy, and they can’t take this opportunity away now.
Fumero and Santana say running a business in Cuba is far from easy, strict regulations and permits are tedious, but Santana says this opportunity is the reason he’s stayed in Havana.
Santana says he wants to continue building his future here and he’s banking that the angels are looking over his small cafe.
Copyright CNN 2016