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What normalizing relations with Cuba means for the economy, history and 2016 elections




U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the nation about normalizing diplomatic relations the Cuba in the Cabinet Room of the White House on December 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama announced plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, over 50 years after they were severed in January 1961. In a prisoner exchange, U.S. contractor Alan Gross was freed after being held in Cuba since 2009 and sent to Cuba three Cuban spies who had imprisoned in the U.S. since 2001.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the nation about normalizing diplomatic relations the Cuba in the Cabinet Room of the White House on December 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama announced plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, over 50 years after they were severed in January 1961. In a prisoner exchange, U.S. contractor Alan Gross was freed after being held in Cuba since 2009 and sent to Cuba three Cuban spies who had imprisoned in the U.S. since 2001.
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The US is set to open talks to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba after a 50-year stalemate, President Obama said on Wednesday. The announcement came shortly after the release of American aid worker Alan Gross, who was imprisoned in Cuba for more than five years.

The major policy shift is the endpoint of more than a year and a half of secret negotiations between the US and the Cuban government. Under the proposal, the US plans to re-open its embassy in Havana and relax restrictions on travel and commerce.

"We will end an outdated approach that has failed to advance our interests," Obama said. "Neither the American nor the Cuban people are well-served by a rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born."

How is the move being received politically? What is the impact on Cuba and the US?

Guests: 

Jonathan Allen, White House reporter and DC Bureau Chief for Bloomberg News who's been following the story. He tweets at @jonallendc

Andy Gomez, senior policy advisor for the law and public policy firm, Poblete Tamargo in Miami. He is also a senior fellow and special assistant to the President for International Affairs at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami

Michael Voss, Cuba Correspondent for CCTV News. He's based in Havana