Imprisonment in this inhuman blockade for decades has caused so much damage to development that it is still a crime against the Cuban people. Now, it’s time to put an end to the embargo.

Moments in history always project the same effects as spring sunshine: incandescent light that illuminates the present, shadows that project a halo of uncertainties onto the horizon. One such case is Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba, so long-awaited and so important that its historic character is undeniable. The American president’s presence on the island will remain in the 21st century diplomatic history books as one of the founding acts of a world that we would like to believe is changing. After a half century of tumultuous relations, following the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban people’s revolution rising up against the colonial empire that brought the island to a vulgar mafia dumping ground and bordello for the United States, the page has been turned. With it opens a new chapter, which is as much down to the will of Barack Obama as his Cuban counterpart Raúl Castro, who spared no effort to ensure that the impossible happened. This is how, just over a year ago, Cuba and the United States initiated a diplomatic rapprochement, up to the re-opening of their respective embassies. A win-win situation, right? Even if, deep down, we have a strong conviction that this turnaround for the long-reviled, threatened Cuban government is a victory for Cuba, and a bitter pill to swallow for Obama’s predecessors, who, despite their all-powerful appearance, never managed to break the Cuban people and their determination for independence. Moreover, let’s think about a curious “coincidence”: We had to wait for the end of a black American’s presidency and the election of a South American pope to see such an event happen …

But be careful! The main thing has not been completed yet. If Obama seems to have the laudable ambition of making American-Cuban relations “irreversible,” or in other words impermeable to the political changes of the future, the symbolic act must transform into a concrete gesture from now on. How can we imagine a total “normalization” of relations without lifting the American embargo, which of course depends on Congress? Imprisonment in this inhuman blockade for decades has caused so much damage to development that it remains a crime against the Cuban people. Now, it’s time to put an end to the embargo.