US and Cuba... friends again after 54 years

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U.S., Cuba restoring diplomatic ties after 54 years - Yahoo News Canada

By Daniel Trotta and Matt Spetalnick

HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The United States and Cuba are set to announce the restoration of diplomatic relations on Wednesday, the result of a two-year courtship between former Cold War rivals who severed ties in 1961.

The senior U.S. diplomat in Havana on Wednesday delivered a letter from President Barack Obama addressed to Cuban President Raul Castro about the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The text of the letter was not immediately disclosed.

Jeffrey DeLaurentis, chief of the U.S. interests section, handed the letter to Cuba's interim foreign minister, Marcelino Medina, at the Cuban foreign ministry. The two shook hands in front of a Cuban and a U.S. flag.

Obama was due to speak at 11 a.m. from the White House's ceremonial Rose Garden. It was unknown whether Castro would reciprocate with comments of his own.

The Cuba deal marks a major achievement for Obama, who has been criticized for foreign policy stumbles, especially in the Middle East. It follows his recent victory in a congressional fight for fast-track authority that could undergird a landmark Asia trade deal and comes as Washington appears to be on the cusp of a nuclear agreement with Iran.

Following 18 months of secret negotiations brokered by Pope Francis and Canada, the two leaders announced separately but simultaneously in December that they planned to reopen embassies in each other's capitals and normalize relations.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected at a flag-raising ceremony in Havana later this month, when the U.S. interests section will become a full embassy. Cuba's mission in Washington will undergo a similar upgrade.

The deal in December also included a prisoner swap and sought to relegate to history 56 years of recriminations that have predominated ever since Fidel Castro's rebels overthrew the U.S.-backed government of Fulgencio Batista on Jan. 1, 1959.

Two years later, President Dwight Eisenhower closed the U.S. Embassy in Havana on Jan. 3, 1961, less than three weeks before President-elect John F. Kennedy was due to take office.

By April of that year, Kennedy would authorize the U.S.-organized invasion of Cuba by a force of Cuban exiles. The attack at the Bay of Pigs failed and reinforced Castro's standing at home and abroad.

In October 1962, Washington and Moscow nearly came to nuclear war over Soviet missiles stationed in Cuba.

Ever defiant toward his neighbor just 90 miles (145 km) to he north, Fidel Castro, 88, remained in power until 2008, when he handed off to his younger brother Raul Castro, 84.

With diplomatic relations restored, the United States and Cuba will turn to the more difficult task of normalizing overall relations.

Major obstacles include the comprehensive U.S. economic embargo of Cuba and the U.S. naval base at Cuba's Guantanamo Bay, which the United States has leased since 1903. Cuba wants the 45 square miles (116 square km) returned as full sovereign territory.

Obama, a Democrat, has asked the Republican-controlled Congress to lift the 53-year-old embargo, but the conservative leadership in Congress has resisted.
 

Xanthosh

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Friendship is always good. We have to act like friends in our daily lives, and in international relations, because that is the best thing to do. We are humans, after all, and should treat others like ourselves, in order to ensure a healthy globe, on the whole.

This is great news. Now Cuba do not need to be hated or made funny in the American press, and vice versa. Everyone can be happy. Even if people have different ways of living, if they can be friends, then everything is all right.
 
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I understand why many Cubans are bitter about their past, especially ex-pats that left or were essentially exiled to the US. But we are now a generation on and I think it is the right time to somewhat normalize relations between the two nations, and let Cubans have some of the benefits of international banking, trading and travel. In the long run keeping communication open is what will show them what kind of government will help their nation prosper and what kind will hold them back--and some people may finally have a chance to see family members they have been long-separated from before they die.
 
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It's funny how this administration seems to bend over backwards for the worst of the worst. For example Iran and Cuba. Now, I obviously have no hostilities towards the people of Cuba, but I am definitely not in favor of normalizing relations with that country. Not until they get a new form of government that actually respects the human rights of it's people.
 
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It's funny how this administration seems to bend over backwards for the worst of the worst. For example Iran and Cuba. Now, I obviously have no hostilities towards the people of Cuba, but I am definitely not in favor of normalizing relations with that country. Not until they get a new form of government that actually respects the human rights of it's people.
Tha'ts a little hypocritical given America's track record as of late. Between Detroit and Baltimore, the UN had to warn them to not turn off the water, in this heat, for 10's of thousands of people who were late on their water bills. The UN referred to it, I believe, as a violation of human rights. I, personally, refer to it as another battle in the war against the poor, or cruel and unusual torture under the guise of punishment... punishment for being poor. How I refer to it at any given moment depends on my mood.
I understand why many Cubans are bitter about their past, especially ex-pats that left or were essentially exiled to the US. But we are now a generation on and I think it is the right time to somewhat normalize relations between the two nations, and let Cubans have some of the benefits of international banking, trading and travel. In the long run keeping communication open is what will show them what kind of government will help their nation prosper and what kind will hold them back--and some people may finally have a chance to see family members they have been long-separated from before they die.
Allowing families to be reunited is the #1 good reason for us and Cuba to kiss and make up. I couldn't imagine being separated from the people I love. "So close, yet so far away". Another benefit: Cuban Cigars.

Friendship is always good. We have to act like friends in our daily lives, and in international relations, because that is the best thing to do. We are humans, after all, and should treat others like ourselves, in order to ensure a healthy globe, on the whole.

This is great news. Now Cuba do not need to be hated or made funny in the American press, and vice versa. Everyone can be happy. Even if people have different ways of living, if they can be friends, then everything is all right.
I completely agree!! We have enough enemies. And most of those are enemies for such stupid reasons! So many people think their way of life is the only right way. It's really stupid, in my opinion.
 
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Tha'ts a little hypocritical given America's track record as of late. Between Detroit and Baltimore, the UN had to warn them to not turn off the water, in this heat, for 10's of thousands of people who were late on their water bills. The UN referred to it, I believe, as a violation of human rights. I, personally, refer to it as another battle in the war against the poor, or cruel and unusual torture under the guise of punishment... punishment for being poor. How I refer to it at any given moment depends on my mood.

Allowing families to be reunited is the #1 good reason for us and Cuba to kiss and make up. I couldn't imagine being separated from the people I love. "So close, yet so far away". Another benefit: Cuban Cigars.


I completely agree!! We have enough enemies. And most of those are enemies for such stupid reasons! So many people think their way of life is the only right way. It's really stupid, in my opinion.
Tha'ts a little hypocritical given America's track record as of late. Between Detroit and Baltimore, the UN had to warn them to not turn off the water, in this heat, for 10's of thousands of people who were late on their water bills. The UN referred to it, I believe, as a violation of human rights. I, personally, refer to it as another battle in the war against the poor, or cruel and unusual torture under the guise of punishment... punishment for being poor. How I refer to it at any given moment depends on my mood.

Allowing families to be reunited is the #1 good reason for us and Cuba to kiss and make up. I couldn't imagine being separated from the people I love. "So close, yet so far away". Another benefit: Cuban Cigars.


I completely agree!! We have enough enemies. And most of those are enemies for such stupid reasons! So many people think their way of life is the only right way. It's really stupid, in my opinion.
I'll try again, problems using tablet. Eisenhower made a terrible mistake snubbing Casrto, after the U.S. put him in power. Castro ended up in the Soviet sphere due to Eisenhower's blunder. Cuba wanted our friendship then, Cuba wants it now. The people of Cuba want relationships with the millions of wealthy Cuban Americans. Havana will again become our Caribbean playground.
 
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Amidst the everyday negative news reports that we read, this thread is a breather. Just reading the title already gave me a positive aura. Can you imagine that they will become friends after all those years? Who is next? How about China shaking hands with America? Or the long time adversary Russia? Maybe it's about time that diplomacy prevails. We need to unite so that ISIS group would be isolated.
 

Xanthosh

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China and America will be the ultimate tag team. Because they are the two super-powers of our age who are competing with each other, economically. China does have a cultural barrier, language difference, and also psychological too. But that does not mean they are not humans, they are too. So we should be friends with them too.

As for Russia, yup. Those guys are very good people if you think about it. Look at Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy, such great writers.
 
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If we don't kiss and make up with anyone else, we should with our neighbors that are so close. Its just good policy.
 

bnleech

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U.S., Cuba restoring diplomatic ties after 54 years - Yahoo News Canada

By Daniel Trotta and Matt Spetalnick

HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The United States and Cuba are set to announce the restoration of diplomatic relations on Wednesday, the result of a two-year courtship between former Cold War rivals who severed ties in 1961.

The senior U.S. diplomat in Havana on Wednesday delivered a letter from President Barack Obama addressed to Cuban President Raul Castro about the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The text of the letter was not immediately disclosed.

Jeffrey DeLaurentis, chief of the U.S. interests section, handed the letter to Cuba's interim foreign minister, Marcelino Medina, at the Cuban foreign ministry. The two shook hands in front of a Cuban and a U.S. flag.

Obama was due to speak at 11 a.m. from the White House's ceremonial Rose Garden. It was unknown whether Castro would reciprocate with comments of his own.

The Cuba deal marks a major achievement for Obama, who has been criticized for foreign policy stumbles, especially in the Middle East. It follows his recent victory in a congressional fight for fast-track authority that could undergird a landmark Asia trade deal and comes as Washington appears to be on the cusp of a nuclear agreement with Iran.

Following 18 months of secret negotiations brokered by Pope Francis and Canada, the two leaders announced separately but simultaneously in December that they planned to reopen embassies in each other's capitals and normalize relations.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected at a flag-raising ceremony in Havana later this month, when the U.S. interests section will become a full embassy. Cuba's mission in Washington will undergo a similar upgrade.

The deal in December also included a prisoner swap and sought to relegate to history 56 years of recriminations that have predominated ever since Fidel Castro's rebels overthrew the U.S.-backed government of Fulgencio Batista on Jan. 1, 1959.

Two years later, President Dwight Eisenhower closed the U.S. Embassy in Havana on Jan. 3, 1961, less than three weeks before President-elect John F. Kennedy was due to take office.

By April of that year, Kennedy would authorize the U.S.-organized invasion of Cuba by a force of Cuban exiles. The attack at the Bay of Pigs failed and reinforced Castro's standing at home and abroad.

In October 1962, Washington and Moscow nearly came to nuclear war over Soviet missiles stationed in Cuba.

Ever defiant toward his neighbor just 90 miles (145 km) to he north, Fidel Castro, 88, remained in power until 2008, when he handed off to his younger brother Raul Castro, 84.

With diplomatic relations restored, the United States and Cuba will turn to the more difficult task of normalizing overall relations.

Major obstacles include the comprehensive U.S. economic embargo of Cuba and the U.S. naval base at Cuba's Guantanamo Bay, which the United States has leased since 1903. Cuba wants the 45 square miles (116 square km) returned as full sovereign territory.

Obama, a Democrat, has asked the Republican-controlled Congress to lift the 53-year-old embargo, but the conservative leadership in Congress has resisted.
 

bnleech

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Honestly, I don't know if this is good or bad. I mean President Castro just got done arresting freedom protesters. The Castro regime is still dictating everything the people of Cuba are allowed to do. What's to say history won't repeat itself. Obama sure is creating more controversy and potential problems for the American people in my opinion.
 
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We're friends with a lot of countries that treat their citizens badly. A lot of good can come out of this reunion. They are going to treat their citizens badly if we're get along with them or not. Not to mention, how many people got arrested during the peak of the Occupy movement? How many people were hit and/or pepper-sprayed because of a peaceful protest?

This isn't directed at you, (unless it should be). People need to ask themselves how they would feel about it if Reagen or Bush had been the one to do it. Obama has done a lot of things I'm not comfortable with. But he hasn't done any worse than any other president. He's just under closer scrutiny because people desperately want to find something to complain about.