The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, and the President of Cuba, Raul Castro made a historic step by shaking hands in a summit held in Panama. The symbolic hand shake demonstrated the will to reconnect the two countries, which have been on the opposite sides in the Cold War.

n_59368_1

The White House official confirmed the act, but underlined that “This was an informal interaction and there was not a substantive conversation between the two leaders.”

The two presidents will meet again, as early as Saturday, to discuss the efforts to reestablish full diplomatic relations and encourage trade and tourism between the two neighboring states.

President Obama said, in the Summit of the Americas in Panama, that “As we move towards the process of normalization, we’ll have our differences government to government with Cuba on many issues. Just as we differ at times with other nations within the Americas, just as we differ with our closest allies.”

Obama, who belong to the new post-Cold War generations stated than “The days in which our agenda in this hemisphere so often presumed that the United States could meddle with impunity, those days are past,” as United States are no longer interested in imposing power in Latin America.

This was the first recorded interaction between the US and Cuban officials, ever since Fidel Castro, the brother of the current Cuban President Raul Castro, overthrew Fulgencio Batista, the dictator who was backed up by USA. Castro later became a strong ally of the Soviet Union.

The efforts of Barack Obama were hailed by the President of Columbia, Juan Manuel Santos, saying that the entire region is suffering because of the relations between these two countries.

The diplomatic relations were nonexistent since the early 1960’s, when the official Washington imposed an embargo on Cuba.