US President Barack Obama has announced historic steps to “chart a new course in (bilateral) relations with Cuba,” this way reestablishing diplomatic ties which were severed since January 1961. Main measures include steps to improve travel and remittances policies from $500 to $2000, expansion of travel to Cuba, expanded sales and exports of certain goods and services from the US to Cuba, authorized import of $400 worth of goods from Cuba by licensed US travelers, and increased Cubans’ access to communications.
Beyond the historic significance of such move, it’s unlikely to revolutionize US-Cuba business relations at least till the sanctions which have been enforced for 5 decades aren’t completely lifted, namely reaching improbable consensus within a soon-to-be Republican Congress that is mostly hostile to Obama’s foreign policy. In 2012, the US amounted to only 4% of Cuba’s imports, 10 times less than Venezuela, and just a few $ millions worth of Cuba’s exports. Cuba’s 2013 real GDP grew 2.7% and per capita income level was higher than most of its neighbors’.