President Barack Obama is expected to unveil a new open policy with Cuba Wednesday in a live address to the nation. The historic speech represents a significant shift in Cuba-U.S. relations after decades of a tough embargo that has divided families and heavily limited trade and travel between both nations. A link to a live stream of the speech is provided below.
The speech will likely be closely watched by the more than 2 millions Cuban-Americans who live in the United States, largely in Florida and New Jersey, many of whom still have family in Cuba. Obama has long been critical of the economic sanctions, noting that U.S. isolation has failed to produce a democratic or stable Cuba. The Castro family has retained control of Cuba since 1959.
More than 11 millions Cubans in Cuba are expected to benefit from the new policy. Obama has previously loosened travel restrictions to Cuba for Americans with family there, a shift from the George W. Bush administration.
The embargo was put in place in 1959 after Fidel Castro led his anti-capitalist revolution in Cuba. The U.N. General Assembly last year voted for the 22nd time to condemn the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, calling it barbaric and genocide. There were 188 votes for the nonbinding resolution, entitled "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba," in the 193-nation General Assembly.
The White House has provided a live stream of the speech here.