Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Washington Post “tiene los ojos abierto” when it comes to US-Cuba talks

(My new Babalu blog post)

We are happy to report that the editorial board of The Washington Post continues to call it right when it comes to the ongoing US-Cuba talks.

Their latest editorial about "Courting the Castros" is right on target:

"FOR ALL the high expectations, and deep anxieties, that surround the U.S.-Cuba thaw that President Obama announced two months ago, the reality is that the process is still in its very early days.  

The two countries have not agreed even on one of the simpler bilateral issues: opening full-fledgedembassies in each other’s capitals.  

Cuban President Raúl Castro sounded an ominous note by hinting that complete normalization might depend on such far-fetched demands as the hand-over of the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay or reparations for the U.S. embargo.  

U.S. political leaders would be well advised not to succumb to, or foster, exuberance about the transformation in economic relations that might be at hand — much less about the pending transformation of the Cuban regime.   

Official contacts must not sugarcoat or lend undeserved legitimacy to a dynastic dictatorship that remains one of the most repressive on the planet."

The bottom line is that the Obama administration has no idea when it comes to negotiation.

The US had all the cards in these talks.   The US could have said this:

1) Release Allan Gross unconditionally;

2) Show me how you plan to compensate US citizens who had their properties stolen; and,

3) Find me the following people who are fugitives of US law, specially that lady who killed a police officer.

Unfortunately, we did not get anything from Cuba.   Now we have to listen to Raul Castro say that Cuba is not changing.

The good news is that Congress has to approve the opening of an embassy or lifting the embargo.

I don't believe that the Obama administration has the votes today for either one.

Again, thanks to The Washington Post for reminding us of who we are doing business with in Cuba.

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