Photo by Kayla Shults
By Kayla Shults
Earlier this month, the Obama administration approved plans to build and operate the first U.S. factory in Cuba in more than 50 years. This is the most recent sign of the changes that are currently happening between the two countries, after President Obama’s announcement on Dec. 17, 2014 that would begin normalizing relations between the two countries.
The history between the United States in Cuba is like that of a divorced couple. In the beginning, during the mid 1950s, there was conflict and threats. Fidel Castro took power in 1959, and in 1961 the United States attempted to overthrow his regime in what has come to be known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
But as time has gone on, the two countries have, for the most part, stayed out of each other’s way and played with the idea of reconciliation.
After a visit to Cuba this past January, I will be the first to say that I am all for the opening of a U.S. factory in Cuba and for better relations overall between the two nations, which are just 90 miles apart.
The factory that is opening in Cuba is an Alabama-based company, Cyber LLC, which builds tractors for small farms.
This will create much-needed job opportunities for both Cubans and Americans. Americans will have to go into Cuba to setup the factory and train workers to make sure they know the correct ways to build and distribute the farming equipment. Cubans, on the other hand, will have the opportunity to work for an American-based company.
Most jobs in Cuba are through the government, and a large percentage of the money that each person makes must go back to the government.
As private industry and individual enterprise boom in Cuba, this is just another opportunity for the people to work for someone other than the government.
All politics aside, the people of Cuba were some of the friendliest and nicest people I have ever met. The days of tension between the people of the two nations are far gone and it is time for a reconciliation for these neighbors.
Young Cubans and Americans were not even alive during the bulk of the conflict. It is something they have only learned about in textbooks and at school.
Here’s to hoping this factory is one of the many business transactions that Cuba and the United States will be making in the near future. Acere que bola!