The United States and Cuba have taken an important step in ending decades of confrontation. Hopefully, it will result in Cuba having more freedom, democracy and prosperity.

The last chapter of the Cold War in Latin America culminated yesterday with the announcement that the United States and Cuba will reestablish relations after 53 years of broken diplomacy and permanent political confrontation.

This historic undertaking, that includes plans for the opening of embassies in Havana and Washington, also involved the exchange of arrested spies and the release of an American contractor detained for more than five years on the island.

Thus, U.S. President Barack Obama is putting an end to a policy toward Cuba which he calls "obsolete" and which "has failed for decades.” It included a severe economic embargo on the island and restrictions on commercial rail and family exchanges.

Havana will no longer be able to justify blaming the United States for Cuba’s complex domestic reality, its policy of systematic violation of human rights, its lack of basic freedom of expression, thought, free movement and independent media and the creation of political parties in opposition to the official Communist Party.

Clearly it's the end of a historical anachronism, but Havana is, out of necessity, being forced to draw closer to the United States in the face of the economic collapse of its main ally and sponsor, Venezuela.

Hopefully the improvement of relations will result in Cuba having a more open and democratic society that is pluralistic and enjoys greater freedom, with real prosperity and progress available to all citizens, thereby putting the country’s era of confrontation and separation behind it.