Pope Francis directly intervened as a mediator. Part of the preliminary talks took place at the Vatican, said Habel. Both analysts agreed that another important factor was the evolution of the Cuban diaspora living in the U.S., especially in the state of Florida. While the first wave of emigrants belonged to the Cuban intelligentsia and former dictator Battista's inner circles, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Cubans emigrated for economic rather than political reasons, seeking better opportunities. They are more open to renewing relations with Cuba as a communist regime.
The younger generation of Cubans living in the U.S. were born in the United States, they have relatives in Cuba, and therefore support Obama's shift because they wish to visit them or send them money. Republican candidate Marco Rubio failed to understand this “generational effect,” said August, as the candidate had to end is campaign after losing his home state of Florida in the Republican caucus this week, with a virulent anti-Castro program. Now the Latino minority living in Florida votes mostly for the Democratic Party, added Habel. However, in Habel's opinion, the normalization of diplomatic relations between both countries could also have, in the long run, a devastating effect on the small island, with the flow of U.S. dollars, investments, tourism and consumer goods. Cuba has vowed, however, that its soveregnty will stay intact no matter what designs the U.S. may have.
Watch: Obama in Cuba: "It is wonderful to be here"