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US-Cuba Rapprochement Advances with Reopening of US Embassy in Havana

Posted July 2nd, 2015 at 1:25 pm (UTC-4)
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Cuba Shift Can Expand Liberty

The Editorial Board – USA Today

It is fitting that the United States and Cuba would announce plans to open embassies in each other’s capitals in the days leading up to July 4. That is because the evolving relationship between the two nations has the real potential to expand freedom.

At the very least, Americans will be freer to go to Cuba to see relatives, or merely to visit…. For more than 50 years, U.S.-imposed sanctions have helped the Castro brothers stay in power while dictators elsewhere have come and gone.

In his embassy announcement Wednesday, President Obama aptly explained his thinking: “We don’t have to be imprisoned by the past.” Unlike Cuba, the U.S. is a free country. When Cuba becomes one remains to be seen.

A man releases a pigeon next to a U.S. national flag in Havana on July 1, 2015. (AFP/Getty Images)

A man releases a pigeon next to a U.S. national flag in Havana on July 1, 2015. (AFP/Getty Images)

Once Again, a U.S. Embassy in Havana

The Editorial Board – Los Angeles Times

Obama has said, the U.S. policy of trying to isolate Cuba, a Soviet ally, might have made sense in the aftermath of the revolution, but it has proved to be ineffective over the subsequent half-century at forcing regime change, and ultimately has been damaging to both the people of Cuba and their relatives in the U.S., and to the standing of the United States in Latin America and around the world.

There has been some pushback to the thaw from unreconstructed cold warriors and those sympathetic to the bitterness Cuban emigres feel toward the Castro regime. Those emotions are understandable, but ultimately they are rooted in a lost battle; it is time for Cuba and the U.S. to move on.

It is important to recognize that restoring relations does not reflect an endorsement of Cuban policies.

President Obama’s remarks on opening a US embassy in Cuba


Despite Mr. Obama’s ‘Engagement,’ Cuba Continues Its Repression

The Editorial Board – The Washington Post

In announcing the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Havana, President Obama said “nobody expects Cuba to be transformed overnight” by his policy of “engagement.” That’s just as well because in the first six months of Mr. Obama’s normalization of relations with the Communist regime, most indicators of human rights on the island have moved in the wrong direction….

Since December, there have been more than 3,000 political detentions in Cuba, including 641 in May and 220 on Sunday alone, according to dissident sources. Most were accompanied by beatings; at least 20 detainees required medical treatment in May….

We don’t oppose diplomatic contacts or U.S. embassies in countries such as Cuba, in principle. But the results of Mr. Obama’s initiative so far underline the opportunity he missed in not requiring even modest alleviation of the dictatorship’s repression in exchange for what amounts to a political and economic bailout of a failing regime….

So far, U.S.-Cuba rapprochement is looking entirely one-sided.


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