Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Obama Restores Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

It's about time.

What has the embargo done for the U.S. except keep some right wingers in Miami happy and the common people of Cuba miserable?

Every other nation recognizes Cuba.  Good to see President Obama leading on this ground-breaking change.  

Despite the embargoes and its overall poverty, Cuba has a better infant mortality rate and higher literacy rate than does the rich U.S.

History-maker: President Barack Obama, Raúl Castro open talks to thaw U.S.-Cuba relations 

"In the biggest change to U.S.-Cuba relations in more than five decades, President Barack Obama and Raúl Castro each announced Wednesday that the Cold War-era enemies are trying to normalize relations and have engaged in a prisoner swap involving two jailed Americans and three Cuban spies imprisoned in the United States. The mutual prisoner release involved jailed USAID contractor Alan Gross, whose five-year imprisonment had become a symbol of Cuba’s repression and, Obama said, a “major obstacle” in talks between the two nations. The talks, held in Canada, involved Vatican officials and were spurred by Pope Francis, who had urged rapprochement. "

Obama Scraps Our Failed Cuba Policy

Alex Massie of The Spectator:

"Today, for instance, he’s announced that the United States will restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. Hurrah for that. It should have happened years ago. Certainly at some point after the Soviet Union’s collapse. An embassy in Havana is just the start, of course. Full-scale normalisation requires more than that. It demands the foolish, counter-productive, plainly-failed embargo be binned too. At the very least this White House is more open to doing just that than any of its predecessors since relations were cut-off in 1961. T

his is not – repeat not - going soft on Cuba. It’s getting tough with Cuba. The old approach has had half a century to work and yet, golly, the Castros are still there, still running their sunshine-soaked island gulag. By any reasonable measure the old approach has failed. Every sensible person knows this. Every reasonable person knows just about any alternative policy could hardly do worse. So why not try something different? If the embargo was going to topple the Castros’ nasty little regime it would have done so by now. Perhaps capitalism should be given a chance instead."


Anonymous said...

This should have happened 35 years ago.

C. Johnson the 3rd said...

Good call from Obama.

Dave Miller said...

What a great album... thanks Ry Cooder for that labor of love... I have both the live, and the studio versions... simply remarkable...

Shaw Kenawe said...

I never tire of listening to that recording. One of my favorites.

Infidel753 said...

It makes obvious sense. The US has been trying to weaken the regime by isolation for 54 years now and it's still there. How much more evidence of failure of the policy do people like Rubio need?

Isolation doesn't weaken dictatorships, free contact between their people and the outside world does. This is well understood by, for example, the North Korean regime, which does everything possible to shield itself with the same isolation the US has been trying to impose on Cuba.

okjimm said...

The right fringe in my neck of the woods is going nutz....but on most forums seem to be out numbered 10-1....and that is great music.....

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Obama is playing chess while the right wingers are scratching their butts.

Anonymous said...

An example of the doofus right wingers response to Obama's Cuba initiative:

"But wait…would you promote normalcy with any country that would keep an American for FIVE years? oops, Barack, I guess YOU would, you numbskull."

Sorry, mister, the numbskull is you. Ask John McCain about "normalcy" and Viet Nam.

Sometimes you don't think they can out-stupid themselves, and then they do.

skudrunner said...

Nice to see this finally happen. The rightists are screaming about the US opening relations with a dictatorship. What they forget is we have relationships with China and Saudi Arabia and both have a restrictive governments.

The embargo shows that the only ones it hurts is the average person because you know the elite don't give up anything. Who does the embargo against Russia hurt or for that matter N Korea.

Dave Miller said...

Skud... your comments are surprisingly measured and snark free...

Quite different from your comments elsewhere.

Are you shape shifting? And they accuse me of double dealing...

"Why not have relations with Cuba, we have them with every other nation that hates us Maybe some Cuban’s in this country will want to return home, probably not. Do you think he did this because JayZ wanted to visit again legally. Jimmy would be proud. Maybe he can build all of them a free house.

If you are looking for a nice 55 Chevy this may be a good opportunity. Maybe Soros will buy Barry and home overlooking the bay of pigs."

C. Johnson the 3rd said...

Skud is be several of the sock puppets that infest the Porn Queens Slime Swamp.

Jus' Sayin'

Ducky's here said...

Given the Teabags promise to throw a huge hissy fit in the net Senate session we'll see how much can be done.

There is a segment of the population which feels this will be a way for ISIS to deliver a nuclear device to the U.S. if trade normalization were to go through.

Luckily we'll find out that America is quite realistic and sane about this matter but that may not compel Rubio and a handful of others to listen.
My read on the Cuban population in Rubi's constituency is that younger Cubans want normalization and he may well overplay a weak hand.

Of course the threat of a jihadist nuclear device is another matter.

skudrunner said...

No Dave I am still the loveable skud I just don't march in step with anyone. Remember I am socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

I Never understood why we shouldn't open up relations with Cuba but also firmly believe this was a pure political move on the administrations part. Guess he feels he has nothing to lose and congress be damned. No need to consult anyone about anything including his own party leaders is his moto.

Obama is desperate to establish some kind of legacy other than a healthcare plan that needs CPR and a no compromise relationship with congress and more miserable lies than a golf course. His governing by memo has not sat well with the majority of the American people, ergo his dismal approval rating. Even those in his own party have turned against him.

Now as to Jimmy, he is a much better home builder than a leader and even yahoo said this move is great for vintage car collectors.

Dave Miller said...

Ducky... that is exactly what we are seeing from the younger set, more openness...

The older crowd though is still dead set agin it.

What is interesting is that everyone is focused on how Obama gave up 3 spies and all he got was a lowly contractor.

There seems to be little mention of the American asset who was the focus of the actual trade.

Gross was just icing on the cake. As were the more than 50 political prisoners who were also released.

You are 100% correct in that we have already seen from some the idea that soon dirty bombs will be showing up courtesy of the Castro boys.

On a few sites when conservatives voice support for the move, they are basically ignored, not even engaged, because the opposing side has no answer for the questions, and desires of a majority of both American, and Cuban people...

Flying Junior said...

It's very exciting to think about Buick Roadmasters and old Packards. But I'm pretty sure that there are a lot more vintage Detroit automobiles in the U.S.A. than there are in Havana. Googol "Chevy Fleetmaster Image." Movies are fun, huh? It's a rich man's hobby. And that of a lot of guys who really enjoy working on old cars.

I would be a lot more excited to see Cubans purchasing new cars from the U.S.A., Japan and Germany. We could buy their sugar and plant less corn. It might even be possible to grow marijuana in Cuba. Stranger things have happened. Let's make it happen for good old Fidel while he's still alive to see it.

Rational Nation USA said...

... when conservatives voice support for the move, they are basically ignored, not even engaged, because the opposing side has no answer for the questions, and desires of a majority of both American, and Cuban people...

Then there is Senator Rand Paul who is spot on correct on this issue. His fellow conservatives/libertarians (and republicans)should listen to his rational argument.

This normalizing of relations with Cuba is long overdue; the embargo has failed to produce the results intended. There is a majority that continues to believe in the insanity rule.

skudrunner said...

Embargo's have proven to not be effective. Iran, Russia, Cuba are proof that the one's hurt the most are the middle class and the poor. The leaders continue to live in luxury and blame the suffering on the US. It actually empowers the rulers because they have someone to blame.

Leaders should learn from the mistakes of others but they let their ego's and narcissism get in their way of rational thinking.

Now for the important part, how much are Cuban cigars going to cost?

Tao Speaks said...

The reality is that by normalizing our relations with Cuba we are neutralizing a big Russian threat.

In 2001 Russia closed its biggest military base outside of Russia and it is just north of Havana. In 2014 he announced that they were re opening it and expanding it.

Now with the collapse of the ruble and the dramatic drop in the price of oil Putin can't do a thing and now with normalized relations you can bet that it will never be re opened!

Obama is a brilliant man.

Flying Junior said...

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death. A full 50% of current smokers will die of smoking-related illness.

Cigars? Not a dog whistle for me.