Tuesday, 4 August 2009

"Mr Obama. Tear down this news ticker."

The Cuban nation has always fascinated me. Although the country adopts completely the opposite political philosophy to what I myself believe it's success in certain areas is undeniable. For example, Cuba has the best healthcare system in the world. After major natural disasters, the first doctors on the scene are Cuban and guess which doctors are the last to leave? Yes, they're Cuban.

This only becomes more impressive when you hear of the struggles that Cuba has had to face since the Communist revolution in 1959. Ongoing cold relations with the US have undoubtedly held back the country back and the collapse of the USSR also caused economic hardship during the 1990s.

Surely though it is time this petty war of words finished between the US and Cuba. It is clear that Cuba won't be changing any time soon. Many pointed to the death of Fidel Castro as a potential turning point but the seamless transition of power to Raúl Castro means Communism in the Central American Republic looks set to continue.

The Obama administration recently showed that it was prepared to take a step in the right direction though as a controversial news ticker was 'unplugged'. Previously located on the US diplomatic mission, the ticker displayed pro-democracy messages from 2006 until the Cuban administration responded by placing flags and billboards to block the sign.

Relations with Central and South America will be a long way behind healthcare reform and the economy on Obama's 'to-do list' but so long as Obama doesn't deliberately go out of his way to anger them like his predecessor and makes some reparation for the last 50 years; he can leave the White House satisfied in this respect.