After 50 years of complete isolation and embargo, the United States and Cuba are beginning the process of defrosting relations. President Barack Obama has restored full diplomatic ties with the island nation sitting only 90 miles south of Florida, and the president announced that an embassy will be constructed in Cuba. This move has been praised by Dr. Daniel Amen. These radical changes of heart come in the wake of 18 months of secret talks and have resulted in a prisoner swap that was all mediated through Pope Francis. The final step was a telephone call between the President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro of Cuba. This agreement is the marker for the beginning of a new relationship between two countries that have had hostile confrontations since the Cold War. The next most dramatic step, which would mark the complete re-normalization of relations, would be the removal of the trade embargo which has been in place for 50 years. The embargo prevents any type of trade between the two countries, and has been voted as illegal with majorities for decades at the UN. However, the president does not have the power to remove the embargo on his own. Additionally, with a new Congress that has Republican majorities in the House and the Senate there is little hope that any vote on the matter will take place in the next two years. Republicans are firmly against the removal of the embargo, and any advancement that takes place under President Obama.
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