Like many of my age-group peers who associate Cuba with impending nuclear doom and elementary school disaster drills, the news that the U.S. has finally “normalized” relations with the island nation came as welcome relief to our childhood memories.

Our newly tracked topic, U.S. Cuba Relations, came in with a media rating last month up +7 points or +9 percent at a very strong 81 rating.  The topic also surpassed much of its peer sector topics gaining the distinction of a fast mover topic in the Political Trend Sector for the month.

There was a string of momentum trigger points throughout 2013 and 2014 suggesting a media blitz was imminent.  The media peaked on December 2014 with the announcement at 82 points.  But the international media coverage area is very crowded and any Cuba storylines needs to compete with a broad array of volatile U.S. foreign relations headlines.  The broader U.S. Foreign Policy topic has been on a consistent media build for nearly 2-years consecutive years as the U.S. continues to redefine its role in an evolving geopolitical landscape.

The U.S. Foreign Policy topic is off -1 points at 88 points.  The long term media picture is still quite strong for the topic as the trailing 12-month media rating is just 3 points shy of the 4-year rating high of 88 points.

And you can’t talk about U.S. Cuba Relations with out profiling the country’s new leader, Raul Castro.  The country’s leader is currently enjoying a media spotlight that translates into 68 media rating, up +7 points or +11 percent.  There have been a few noticeable spikes in Raul Castro’s media coverage over the preceding 2-year period, but overall his media rating has not shown any sustainable momentum.  The leader’s CUME growth over 4-years is nearly flat at +2%.

A good media comparison would be other Latin American leaders, such as Dilma Rousseff at 78 points, Nicolas Maduro at 79 points and Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico, at 66 points (down -6 points from a 12-month trailing average of 72 points).  Overall, Raul Castro is moving into the Latin American leader media spotlight, but his trailing 4-year media track record is not in the same media league as his immediate peers.

We’ve come a long way since the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962.  It’s taken awhile, but its always good to see 2 long-time foes move into a new generation with new attitude towards their mutual future.