Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Pretty big news:
The United States and Cuba will start talks on normalizing full diplomatic relations, marking the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades, American officials said Wednesday. The announcement comes amid a series of new confidence-building measures between the longtime foes, including the release of American Alan Gross and the freeing of three Cubans jailed in the U.S.

President Barack Obama was to announce the policy changes from the White House at noon Wednesday.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said the U.S. and Cuba were moving toward normalized banking and trade ties. He also said the U.S. was poised to open an embassy in Havana in the coming months.
Remember how Republicans responded to election victories in November by insisting that they were going to prove they can govern? And remember how President Obama put them in an awkward position with an executive action on immigration, which forced them to choose between placating their base (by shutting down the government over immigration) or wussing out in order to reassure the center (by not grinding the government to a halt)?

Well, we're here again. There are two Cuban-Americans in the Senate who desperately want to be president, and there's a former Florida governor already effectively in the presidential race who's claimed to be an honorary Cuban-American. One of the senators is already flipping out:
"This is going to do absolutely nothing to further human rights and democracy in Cuba," Rubio said in an interview. "But it potentially goes a long way in providing the economic lift that the Castro regime needs to become permanent fixtures in Cuba for generations to come."

(Clip here.)

Oh, and of course the Cuban embargo fills right-wingers with a massive amount of nostalgia for the good old days of the Cold War. So Obama's going to have these guys angrily demanding the preservation of policies that are now rejected not only by most Americans, but by most Cuban-Americans, because they can't help themselves.

Smooth move, Mr. President.


Philo Vaihinger said...

The right doesn't really care about democracy but would like to be able to force Cuba into some version of capitalism satisfactory to Sen Cruz, or at least something closer to the Chinese model.

Hence they see dropping the embargo as throwing away a tool of coercion.

Actually, the anti-Castro Cubans of Florida are just as hypocritical. They just want back the property and wealth they lost to the revolution.

But given a chance to make a pile on investments in Cuba as they have done in China, the plutes who control the GOP will be OK even if the Cuban exiles are not.

Ten Bears said...

Cruz is a Cuban-Canadian. Not "American".

Chris Andersen said...

Sadly there will probably be a not insignificant number of Democrats who criticize this move.

Steve M. said...

Menendez, yes, but I'm not sure who else. Manchin? Can't seem to find his position on this, if he has one.

Victor said...

Two things:
1. It's going to be fun watching President Obama fuck wid 'em, for the next two years.

2. I can hardly wait for Havana to get a Major League Baseball team.
Then, I can move down there when I retire, and not feel like I'm completely leaving this hemisphere.

Glennis said...

the economic lift that the Castro regime needs to become permanent fixtures in Cuba for generations to come.

Mr. Rubio, I believe that horse left the barn before you were even born.

Yastreblyansky said...

That's the spirit. Save me a mojito.

aimai said...

Basically if Cuba and its politics are not a basic part of our politics--and why should it be? We don't spend millions trying to overthrow the government of the Bahamas or Grand Cayman--Cuban Senators and Congressmen lose their significance entirely. IF I were Rubio or Menendez I'd be hysterical too. Cruz is really more of a Texan than a Cuban at this point. Cuba is an abstraction to him. But to the other two its something of a power source. Too bad. So sad. Now the cuban voting block will naturally fade away and be absorbed into republicanism or the democratic fold on the basis of other issues.