First anniversary of renewed US diplomatic relations with Cuba

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First anniversary of renewed diplomatic relations with Cuba

One year ago, Cuba opened its embassy in Washington, D.C., marking the official restoration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba for the first time in more than half a century. However, there are still a lot of outstanding issues.

CCTV’s Michael Voss reports on the progress.

First anniversary of renewed US diplomatic relations with Cuba

First anniversary of renewed US diplomatic relations with Cuba

One year ago, Cuba opened its embassy in Washington, D.C., marking the official restoration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba for the first time in more than half a century. However, there are still a lot of outstanding issues. CCTV’s Michael Voss reports on the progress.
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Almost 100,000 Americans visited Havana in the first four months of this year, roughly double the same period in 2015. The tourists are generally big spenders, paying for on hotels, restaurants and rides in classic old American cars.

“Tourism has improved a lot now that Americans are allowed to come here, we need more tourists to help the country develop and guarantee our jobs,” Armando Gonzales, classic car owner, said.

Venezuela has already cut back its subsidized oil shipments to Cuba and last week President Raul Castro ordered cuts in fuel and energy consumption and warned of economic hardships to come.

Observers now wonder whether this will encourage further progress in Cuba’s relations with the U.S. They have already signed environmental cooperation agreements, Cuba has allowed the first U.S.-run hotel to open in Havana and scheduled flights should resume later this year. But despite a constant stream of business delegations, very little trade or investment has emerged.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Cuba in March showed the two countries are no longer enemies. But a lot of outstanding issues remain, from human rights and the return of fugitives to ending the U.S. trade embargo and the return of Guantanamo naval base. And next year Cubans will be dealing with a new president in the U.S.