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What renewed US-Cuba relations mean for Cuba's youth


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Historic talks to revive U.S.-Cuba relations in Havana this week ended in an agreement to meet again soon.

The countries severed diplomatic ties a half-century ago. But now they're talking again about immigration rules, human rights, trade and even the reopening of a U.S. embassy in the Cuban capital. 

What does all this mean for the next generation of Cubans -- those who came of age well after the revolution and who will lead most of their lives in a post-Castro era?

Julia Cooke, author of "The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba," lived on the island as a young person herself. She says this generation of Cubans have experienced things in a different way than previous generations.

"They're the first generation to come of age in a completely post-Soviet era, and a very economically rocky time when change is a fact that draws ever-closer, but it doesn't arrive in full. For the most part, they're very self-sufficient, they're savvy, they're perhaps a little cynical about government. They're very worldly, they're pretty interconnected  with family members abroad, they're very interested in pop culture," she said.

Cooke found out about the renewed talks from a Cuban friend of hers, who left her text messages and voicemails the day President Barack Obama announced a thawing of relations.

"He reflects what I think many young Cubans think, which is that this is a great start. We don't know exactly how it will play out in their lives. Right now, all that is very clear is that tourism will probably increase in Cuba. There's a lot to do diplomatically. So, I think it remains to be seen how much impact it will have on young Cubans' daily lives," Cooke said.