What's Changed Since US, Cuba Agreed to Restore Relations? - NBC 6 South Florida

Reestablishing connections with the island nation and its people

What's Changed Since US, Cuba Agreed to Restore Relations?

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    What's Changed Since US, Cuba Agreed to Restore Relations?

    It was one year ago on Dec. 17 that President Barack Obama and Raul Castro agreed to restore relations between the United States and Cuba. (Published Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016)

    It was one year ago on Dec. 17 that President Barack Obama and Raul Castro agreed to restore relations between the United States and Cuba.

    A lot and nothing has changed, depending on who you ask and where you stand on what is an emotional topic for many, especially in South Florida.

    Dozens of protesters lined up outside the White House on Thursday, calling for real change in Cuba. As they raised their signs in the nation's capitol, many are also raising their voices in South Florida.

    "I would say to the president, 'Where's the beef? There is no beef, nothing has happened.' We were promised new businesses would spring up, that there was going to be human rights improvements," said Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason.

    It has left an unsavory taste in the mouth of Mayor Cason. He was the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba for three years, "Everything from my perspective has either been the same or gotten worse."

    Local human rights activists sent a video message to the president Thursday, saying the Castro regime has got to go: "It has been a year of dismay and of repeated failures," the video said.

    But the current American diplomat, who's in charge of the embassy in Havana right now, said they are making progress along the Cuban streets, but it's going to take some time.

    "We signed a postal agreement, we're going to have postal service for the first time in 50 years. We are working on a civil aviation agreement and a variety of other things," said Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, U.S. embassy in Havana.

    Right now, a year later, the government is testing out a postal agreement service between the two countries. As for air travel, they just announced there will be direct commercial flights, but didn't say when.

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