Obama Restores Ties With Cuba

After 50 years, the U.S. has restored ties with Cuba.

After 18 months of secret talks, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in a phone call on Tuesday on a breakthrough prisoner exchange, the opening of embassies in each other's countries, and an easing of some restrictions on commerce.

The two leaders made the announcement in simultaneous televised speeches. The Vatican and Canada facilitated the deal.

P. Obama is also calling for an end to the embargo. Republicans aren't happy with that and Congressional approval is necessary to lift the it.

There was also a prisoner exchange: [more...]

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.

Alan Gross arrived in the U.S. today. John Kerry met with him at Andrews Airforce Base.

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    The embargo has not been lifted, (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by fishcamp on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 08:26:10 PM EST
    but it is lifting. It's difficult for we Americans to understand the pure hate that Marco Rubio and the domino playing Cuban's in Little Havana, hold in their hearts.  I'm sad they and their people lost everything back in 1958, but progress is being made due to the efforts of Obama, the Pope, Castro, and amazingly, Canada.  I applaud all of them for their forward thinking.  Hopefully the many problems will be overcome.   Viva los Estados Unidos y Cuba tambien.

    Quite a few of my NJ catholic school peers (none / 0) (#6)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 08:52:36 PM EST
    were sons and daughters of Cuban emigres from around the time of the revolution. Their parents were friends of my parents. Conversations among the emigres after a few cocktails often got spirited. I think we Americans should be able to understand the hate that some hold toward Castro and Guevara, etc.

    idea of normalized relations between our two countries.

    How auspicious was our discussion ... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 08:55:55 PM EST
    ... of not too long ago on this very subject?

    I'm actually excited to see the final vestiges of the former Cold War crumble away with today's announcement. This is a good day for everyone, save for that loud little handful of bitter hatemongers in South Florida. But at this point, who cares what they think?

    Dogs bark, the caravan passes.


    realpolitik (none / 0) (#1)
    by thomas rogan on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 08:06:54 PM EST
    The limits on the amount which Cuban emigres can send to relatives in Cuba went up dramatically.  Due to the two currency system there, the government skims off a lot of this money.  With Russia and Venezuela going broke, the US will take over as the financial enabler of the Castro regime.
    Of course, given the history of the Arab spring,  this administration may prefer the "stability" of the Castros to the possibility of a messy outbreak of democracy occurring 90 miles offshore.

    Marco isn't happy with the Popes involvement (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 08:07:03 PM EST
    Pope Francis:  Take up the cause of freedom

    "I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom and democracy," Rubio, a Roman Catholic, told reporters at the Capitol when asked if the pope's role in the Cuban negotiations influenced his view of the deal.

    (That's the National Review- fyi)

    Sounds (none / 0) (#14)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 10:02:50 PM EST
    like Rubio is running for Pope.

    In Red State (none / 0) (#4)
    by Politalkix on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 08:40:33 PM EST
    they have gone off the deep end. Erik Eriksson is writing that the President has transformed America in a way that Frank Marshall Davis would be proud, the Communists have won, America has lost and somewhere there is also a tirade against Mom's jeans.

    All more or less expected (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 08:44:22 PM EST
    otoh I thought Rubio, a Catholics, slap at the Pope, THIS Pope, was rather breathtaking.  I was curious what that Catholics think.

    As for the Cathoholics like Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Newt Gingrich who like to think of themselves as more pious than the Pope, I hope their friggin' heads explode.

    One welcome piece of collateral damage from today's announcement was Jeb, whose announcement of a presidential exploratory committee was knocked clean out of the news cycle.



    Of course (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 09:09:52 PM EST
    but I really meant more about hm saying it.  Do you not think he will pay for that with non Cuban Catholics?   I'm asking.  But I don't ever remember a politician publicly taking on the Pope.  Particularly in the way he did.  This Pope has been pretty "there" on freedom if you ask me.  A non Catholic.

    The Miami Herald notes (none / 0) (#11)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 09:15:00 PM EST
    Anyone see if there is anything in US-Cuba deal (none / 0) (#12)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 09:27:18 PM EST
    about the status of U.S. revolutionary fugitives of the '70s who have had sanctuary in Cuba, such as Assata Shakur/Joanne Chesimard?