Filed in International, National by on December 17, 2014

It would appear that what began as an unexpected handshake between Cuban President Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama back last year at Nelson Mandela’s funeral may have turned into actual negotiations that resulted today in the release of an American prisoner in Cuba, and the start of talks between the two countries about the resumption of diplomatic relations.

The U.S. is starting talks with Cuba to normalize full diplomatic relations and open an embassy, according to U.S. officials. The expanded relationship would also open imports of Cuban cigars somewhat, according to a CNN report. U.S. President Obama, Cuba’s Raul Castro plan to speak separately at noon ET about relations between the two countries. Obama plans to overhaul Cuba’s policy while Cuba plans to free 53 political prisoners and to allow U.S. debit and credit cards, Dow Jones reported. This follows Cuba’s release of American Alan Gross from a Cuban prison where he spent five years on espionage charges, NBC reported.

Of course, Republicans and the Cubans in Miami will go nuts. Tough shit. Your policy of isolation has not worked for over fifty years.

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  1. Dorian Gray says:

    The Cold War ended 25 years ago. This ridiculous diplomatic and economic embargo is a relic from a bygone era… people are going to need to get over it.

    Cuba has done some awful totalitarian shit, but so have we. Some of it we’ve done in Cuba coincidentally. I’m happy to see some progress here.

  2. Dave says:

    That has always been the most nonsensical piece of our foreign policy. Especially since we have relations with Russia and China. Cuba is a such a miniscule issue (except in Miami) it defies logic and reason, unless one were concerned about electoral votes.

  3. Jason330 says:

    I happen to know a Miami Cuban whose head is, no doubt, exploding right now.

  4. Republican David says:

    Are you saying human rights don’t matter? It is reasonable to reevaluate the relationship with the death of Fidel.

    A carrot and stick approach will likely work better than a stick.

    I dispute that sanctions haven’t worked. Sanctions stopped their plans to expand their evil oppression to South America and Africa once the Soviet Empire collapsed.

  5. Geezer says:

    Yes, let’s keep Latin America safe for US to expand OUR evil oppression.

    Instead of trolling here, why don’t you try to keep your stable of idiots and sociopaths from writing their lies and vile opinions?

  6. Dave says:

    Apparently the Vatican was the broker:

    Damn Jesuits. Always the rabble rousers!

  7. Dorian Gray says:

    @Rep David – Weren’t you the guy telling us how we didn’t have the guts to torture people last week? We weren’t tough enough to do what needed to be done, I think you argued. Now you’re the champion of human rights! You were defending torture, brother. Your cognitive dissonance is exceptional. I suppose we can only torture in the name of “freedom.” Your position is a joke.

  8. MikeM2784 says:

    The level of hypocrisy of Republicans opposing this is stunning, though nothing they do surprises me anymore. “They don’t support freedom” but we love big businesses that outsource to China and Bangladesh. US torture OK…Cuba torture bad. Small government, except when it deals to other people’s personal choices…yet another pothole along the road to total stupidity.

  9. SussexAnon says:

    Republicans, as capitalists, will be against Cuban policy until they can raid that island of whatever its worth like the rest of the world.

    We can trade with China with all of their human rights issues and lack of freedom, but Cuba? Nope, not until they adopt the commie-capitalist model of China.

    Only we get to commit human rights violations on the island of Cuba.

  10. bamboozer says:

    Die Embargo, Die!!!! As noted there is nothing more absurd than the embargo of Cuba, a 50 year failure. I’ve always found it odd that the Dems didn’t push for the end of the embargo long ago, the Cubanos never voted for them anyway and never will. I’m also surprised that the usual greed factor didn’t take hold as Wall St. dreamed of exploiting Cuba in any way possible. That I’m tired of waiting for the Castro Brothers to die.

  11. rustydils says:

    How many cuban criminals did we have let go to get one innocent american back?. Yea, cuba and the castros are real sweet. I challenge all elated delaware liberals to plan your summer vacation to go there. Come on, do it, as they say, put your money where your mouth is. Hey, make sure and take your kids. Let’s see a show of hands of all that are going. What, no volunters, I did not think so. Just a bunch of cowards hiding behind screen names pretending they are tough as they blindly follow a false profit

  12. cassandra m says:

    I’m pretty sure that in the past year that both the DCH and the DCCA have sponsored trips to Cuba. I missed them both, but would have loved to go on the DCCA one. So I’d go to Cuba, no problem. And there is a remarkably big business of getting American tourists to Cuba too, so I’m definitely not alone.

    The 50 year embargo of Cuba was just stupid. We didn’t embargo China (STILL communist!) and we have normal relations with Vietnam. The really tough thing is that a serious embargo of China would not have provided the same exodus of American jobs that continues to have a serious drag on some parts of the country. The embargo of Cuba made it really tough to get the Good Cigars.

    And I love how Pope Francis was a facilitator here. Can’t wait to see how the Catholic Cuban-Americans get through their hoops for that.

  13. pandora says:

    Rusty, yet again, has no idea what he’s talking about. Cuba is a major tourist destination – except for the US. Rusty, please educate yourself.

  14. Geezer says:

    An American spy who was held in Cuba for 20 years also was released.

    Next time, Rusty, I’m sure they’ll call you for advice before negotiating, because I’m sure you know more than they do about the particulars.

    It’s the lack of shame that amazes.

  15. rustydils says:

    Casandra and Pandora, I’m looking forward to your report after you return from your trip there, it will prove your not a coward, and, just like when you come out from behind your screen name, will prove that you have the courage to stand for your beliefs, and are not afraid of ridicule and consequences.

  16. SussexAnon says:

    Rusty, Cuba is not North Korea. Everyone else in the world goes there.

    America was an embargo of one.

    Given our history in Central and South America, I am surprised Americans are allowed to travel almost anywhere south of Mexico.

  17. rustydils says:

    Google Mitt Romney, sony, the interview, and read Mitt’s Tweet about how to fight the Sony Hackers. Brilliant idea. That is how you stand up to bullies, you do not appease them. Let’s see if Sony follows Mitt’s suggestion

  18. SussexAnon says:

    The terrorists won, Rusty, pack it in, the global war on terror is over and we lost. The capitalists at Sony and theater owners are the reason.

    Putting it out online for free sounds kinda socialist to me.

  19. rustydils says:

    Sussexanon, you are mixing up socialism with charity, nearly impossible to do, because they are complete opposites, but somehow you manage anyway

  20. Geezer says:

    Yes, by all means, Sony, take the advice of a corporate vulture who has played the system like a Stradivarius to enrich himself and his offspring, and who never in his life put principle ahead of profit.

    Your gullibility never fails to impress.

  21. rustydils says:

    And Geezer, you forgot to add, gives about 5 million a year to charity. I don’t understand how that last part about charity slipped your mind, as well schooled on Mitt Romney as you are. Maybe you suffer from “selective memory” a very common mental disordered suffered by liberals

  22. SussexAnon says:

    Charity? This is a movie we are talking about, right?

    Charity usually involves providing help or money to those in need. There is no benevolent need in releasing this movie for the good of humanity.

    Give the movie away if you want, but, please, don’t call it charity.

    According to Forbes, most of Romneys charitable donations go to the LDS.

  23. Geezer says:

    It’s not charity. He gives it to the Mormon church, which is pretty much a racket in which donations give you power and influence. And that’s a pittance compared to his net worth.

    But thank you for again demonstrating that you’re a shallow fool.

  24. For those who think that all, or even most, American Cubanos (if that isn’t an oxymoron) oppose resumption of diplomatic relations, um, think again. There’s hardly a monolithic response to this:

    Truth is, principle had very little to do with the boycott. It was 50 years of Rethugs playing this issue for political gain. The policy itself failed. The politics are next to go.

  25. mouse says:

    I was just talking to my 15 year old kid about going to Cuba. She said it would be cool. The vapid right never sees anything positive in anything positive

  26. rustydils says:

    Mouse, buy her a plane ticket and send her on her way. Oh, and dont forget to let me know after she is on the plane

  27. rustydils says:

    Just tried to look up sussexanon and Geezer’s definition of Charity in Websters dictionary, funny thing, I could not find their versions of charity in it, imagine that

  28. pandora says:

    For crying out loud, Rusty! Do you live under a rock? Every country, but the USA, vacations in Cuba. I have plenty of friends and family (who don’t live in the states) who have vacationed in Cuba.

    Why don’t you start here and learn something. Seriously, what exactly do think Cuba is like?

  29. cassandra m says:

    The Smithsonian sponsors tours to Cuba.

    National Geographic sponsors tours to Cuba.

    Seriously, just Google it — Americans going to Cuba to visit is a booming business right now. Even before that you could go — just had to go via Canada and make sure that the Cubans stamped a blank index card in your passport (rather than your passport page). Cuba isn’t at all like North Korea.

  30. SussexAnon says:

    Charity: noun
    1) the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need. Synonyms: aid, relief, welfare.

    2)an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.

    Merriam Webster

    1: benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity
    2a : generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also : aid given to those in need
    b : an institution engaged in relief of the poor
    c : public provision for the relief of the needy
    3a : a gift for public benevolent purposes
    b : an institution (as a hospital) founded by such a gift
    4: lenient judgment of others

    3a would fit but I take exception to a comedy movie being released for free as serving some benevolent purpose. Do I have to explain the definition of benevolence now?
    Again, I am for the movie being released, in theaters, on DVD, online for free, etc. I do not agree at all that it would be charitable to do so.

    Releasing it online seems a strange suggestion given they have already been hacked. Its almost as if the person making the suggestion has no idea what hacking is or how hacking works. Must be an executive that came up with that one. 🙂

  31. Geezer says:

    You could look it up, Rusty — oh, wait, that’s right. Mitt never released his tax records. Still, we know from reports that most of his charity is in the form of donations to his church.

    You apparently know nothing about Mormonism. It works the same way the Freemasons do: Each step up the ladder of church hierarchy costs you money. They take care of their own with that money — Mormons have an effective support network to help out when fellow Mormons hit hard times — but at the same time the money also increases his stature and position in the church.

    Where I come from, charity does not increase the giver’s material position. And I don’t need to look it up in the dictionary to know what the word means.

  32. mouse says:

    Romney form the one of the religious cults made his millions dismantling companies (aka jobs) and raiding pension funds

  33. Dorian Gray says:

    Look, it’s pretty clear rusty dils doesn’t know anything. I planned a trip to Cuba about 7 years ago. You could fly through Toronto or Mexico City. Trip never panned out unfortunaetly. (Wound up going to Munich instead.) A few of my travel companions didn’t want to go through the hassle.

    About 3 million tourists travel to Cuba annually and the numbers have increased between 5-8% per year every year since the mid 1980s.

  34. Geezer says:

    @DG: True on Rusty. I think they keep him around as a pinata.

  35. CK says:

    I rarely comment, but Rustdils comment from 2 days ago raised my ire. I went to Cuba in April. I had a wonderful time, and we were treated very well. I was able to walk the streets and meet lots of people. They love and are very proud of their educational system and medical system. No one doubts the atrocities committed by Castro. The people I met expressed a real fondness for America and a sincere regret that we did not have normal relations. Our embargo has hurt them significantly, especially the little guy. And the food was great.