Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Viva la relaciones normalizadas

There will be conservative blowback, and things like unrestricted travel will need to be approved by a Republican Congress (a tall order), but the breaking news is grand.

The United States will restore diplomatic relations it severed with Cuba more than 50 years ago, a major policy shift ending decades of hostile ties with the communist-ruled island, President Barack Obama said on Wednesday.

Announcing the end of what he called a "rigid" policy of isolation of Cuba that had been ineffective, Obama said the United States would move toward normal ties and would open an embassy in Cuba.

Obama discussed the changes with Cuban President Raul Castro on Tuesday in a nearly hour-long telephone call. Castro spoke in Cuba as Obama made his announcement on a policy shift made possible by the release of American Alan Gross, 65, who had been imprisoned in Cuba for five years.

Cuba is also releasing an intelligence agent who spied for the United States and was held for nearly 20 years, and the United States in return freed three Cuban intelligence agents held in the United States.

More on Alan Gross and the other men released today.  Both Pope Francis and the nation of Canada are to be commended for their extraordinary diplomatic efforts in this regard, which include keeping an 18-month-long secret.  Regular readers here will know that my wife is Cuban, in fact was born there and emigrated with her now-deceased father and mother in 1961.  So we will plan a trip soon to see her hometown of Matanzas, its neighborhoods, and perhaps meet some relatives she has never known.


Gadfly said...

Can't remember if you'd mentioned that about your wife when we met. Now I understand the hankering for Cuban barbecue joints!

Beyond this being the right thing (and for beisbol, too perhaps?), I just like this making Havana Ted's head explode, beyond the six dozen or so Obama nominees that will wind up getting confirmation this week.

PDiddie said...

Yeah, MLB needs the pitching.

Gadfly said...

Clicked through to read the old stories. Nice.