After five years in Cuban custody, American contractor Alan Gross has been freed in a surprise prisoner swap that also releases three Cubans and opens up the possibility of improved relations between the United States and Cuba. After decades of sanctions and a rift that outlived the Cold War, the shift could mark a significant moment in Western Hemisphere politics.
For Floridians, the news is personal — Twitter users in Florida shared their reactions to the unexpected development. Some tweeted thoughts for the Gross family, others discussed potential economic ramifications and predicted what ending five decades of standoff could mean for both countries’ political landscapes.
Big news coming out of #Cuba, but my Cuban family has little faith. Maybe it's been too long/maybe nothing will change at all – mom & Abuela
— Colleen Wright (@Colleen_Wright) December 17, 2014
— Joe Casale (@sportsJC16) December 17, 2014
Being a Cuban American and having family still in Cuba, this is huge! "Obama to overhaul US-Cuba relations" http://t.co/ZOIV79f5ZW
— Carmen Edelson (@carmensluxtrvl) December 17, 2014
All the Cubans I talk to here say they hate going back to Cuba, even if it's to visit family
— Laamaj (@Tripl3A) December 17, 2014
The issue of Cuba is a generational divide. The embargo was unilateral, only. But Cuba remains a in a dark Cold War corner.
— HEDI ENGHELBERG (@ENGHELBERG) December 17, 2014
BTW, I'm 100% in favor of normalizing relations with Cuba. As son of Vietnam vet, was in favor of normalizing with Vietnam as well.
— Jacob Perry (@jacobperry) December 17, 2014
The change of US foreign policy on Cuba is perhaps the single most important and positive development in Latin American this century
— Adrian Viller (@adrianviller) December 17, 2014
5 years too long but still very happy to hear of the release from Cuba of Alan Gross. Will be a extra special Hanukkah for the Gross family
— Carlos Lopez-Cantera (@LopezCantera) December 17, 2014
What do you bet the first thing that happens is American dealers scoop up all those amazingly preserved 1950s cars in Cuba?
— Michele Banks (@artologica) December 17, 2014
— Daniel Delgado (@DanDel1989) December 17, 2014
— Jimmy C (@jimmyc2424) December 17, 2014
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) December 17, 2014
About time! Cuba & US exchange prisoners, Obama to announce major changes in Cuban policy — RT USA http://t.co/ZQHUJGkaxL
— Adrian Bellido PA-C (@BellaHealthcare) December 17, 2014
Today Cuban USA relations will change forever! American Alan Gross released from Cuba; Obama to overhaul Cuba policy.
— Maria Botta (@mariabotta) December 17, 2014