President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease economic restrictions on the nation, an historic shift he called the end of an “outdated approach” to U.S.-Cuban relations.
Obama said he’s instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba to re-establish diplomatic relations, and that the U.S. will re-open an embassy in Havana. The administration will also allow some travel and trade that had been banned under a decades-long embargo instated during the Kennedy administration.
“Neither the American nor Cuban people are well-served by a rigid policy that’s rooted in events that took place before most of us were born,” Obama said.
“I believe we can do more to support the Cuban people, and promote our values, through engagements. After all, these 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked. It’s time for a new approach.”
It is about damn time! This policy never worked and in fact had the opposite effect. It is ridiculous that we tried to isolate a country that really has done nothing to us. Americans can travel to North Korea, Vietnam, and China. All countries we fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars and where thousands of Americans lost their lives. All three of those countries are still communist like Cuba so there was never any good excuse to have a travel ban or an economic embargo on Cuba.
I can’t wait to visit Cuba and I am guessing it will quickly become among the top travel destinations. Beautiful beaches, friendly people, a very safe travel destination, not to mention very cheap all promise to make it a very popular destination for American tourists who have long envied Canadian and European tourists who were able to travel there freely. I imagine a lot of rum and cigar enthusiasts in America are also smiling today.
You did the right thing today President Obama. I just don’t understand what took so damned long.