Cuba visit shows hope for change

Daily Editorial Board

President Barack Obama’s recent trip signified the end of a decadeslong schism between Cuba and the United States. In Cuba, Obama emphasized the importance of moving past old rivalries.
 At one point, Obama directly encouraged Cuban President Raul Castro to change the government’s culture of authoritarianism. Obama also promised an end to the Cuban Embargo. 
This diplomatic breakthrough rang similar to former President Ronald Reagan’s call for more openness in the Soviet Union. We hope the Obama administration and the Cuban government can tear down old walls to build a more democratic and prosperous future for Cuba and the U.S. alike. 
Analysts argue that improving economic ties between the U.S. and Cuba would strengthen competition and thus help the economy. 
Exemplifying the economic progress that’s already happened, here at the University of Minnesota, a group of students from the Carlson School of Management recently travelled to Cuba to pitch business ideas to local companies. This shows the vast potential which the exchange of ideas has for the prosperity of Cuba and the U.S. 
Apart from the economic benefits of engagement, we hope the U.S. can use diplomatic leverage to push for political reforms concerning Cuba’s stance on human rights. A strategic approach to reform will address the concerns of those who argue that Obama is propping up a dictatorship. 
We commend Obama for his visit to Cuba, and we hope further economic trade and diplomatic engagement will benefit Americans and Cubans alike.