Special Broadcast from Opening of Cuban Embassy in Washington as U.S.-Cuban Diplomatic Ties Restored

Democracy Now

Bandera-cubana-ondea-en-Washington-580x435HAVANA TIMES – History is being made in Washington today when Cuba raises its flag and officially reopens its U.S. Embassy after 54 years. Hundreds are gathering for this historic moment, including U.S. and Cuban lawmakers and diplomats, activists and artists, scholars and historians.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez is leading a delegation of over two dozen officials from Havana, including Cuba’s chief negotiator, Josefina Vidal. Also among the attendees is Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez and former Parliament President Ricardo Alarcón.

This afternoon, Bruno Rodríguez will hold a joint news conference with Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department, where Cuba’s flag was raised earlier this morning, joining the flags of more than 150 other countries that have diplomatic relations with the U.S. In Havana, the U.S. Embassy will also reopen its doors today. Kerry is set to travel there later this summer for the formal inauguration ceremony where a U.S. flag will be hoisted. Cubans have welcomed the diplomatic rapprochement with jubilation.

For more, we’re joined by Cuban-American attorney José Pertierra and Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Transcript

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re broadcasting from Washington, D.C., where history is being made today. In a major diplomatic thaw, Cuba will raise its flag here and officially reopen its embassy after 54 years. Hundreds are gathering for this historic moment, including U.S. and Cuban lawmakers and diplomats, activists and artists, scholars and historians. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez is leading a delegation of over two dozen officials from Havana, including Cuba’s chief negotiator, Josefina Vidal. Also among the attendees is Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez and former Parliament President Ricardo Alarcón. This afternoon, Rodríguez will hold a joint news conference with Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department, where Cuba’s flag was raised earlier this morning, joining the flags of more than 150 other countries that have diplomatic relations with the United States. In Havana, the U.S. Embassy will also reopen its doors today. Kerry is set to travel there later this summer for the formal inauguration ceremony where the U.S. flag will be hoisted. Cubans have welcomed the diplomatic rapprochement with jubilation. This is Professor Alberto Matos.

ALBERTO MATOS: [translated] For us, this is significant. It’s important. I think it’s a decisive step toward normalizing relations. In other words, as Cubans, we celebrate this and are waiting to see what could happen and what could continue from this point on, which we are optimistic will be things that are feasible for the Cuban people and the people of the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: The Cuban Embassy, which I am standing just across the street from, was built in 1917, almost a hundred years ago, becoming the first diplomatic building in this neighborhood and helping to establish this area as a diplomatic center. Fidel Castro visited the embassy in 1959 after he overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Two years later, in 1961, the United States unilaterally broke off relations with Cuba. The last time the United States and Cuba had diplomatic ties, President Dwight Eisenhower was in office.

Today’s opening of embassies is just the first step in normalizing relationships between the two countries. On Wednesday, Cuban President Raúl Castro applauded the diplomatic renewal but called on President Obama to use his executive powers to remove the ongoing U.S. trade and financial embargo.

PRESIDENT RAÚL CASTRO: [translated] The revolutionary government has the willingness to advance in normalizing relations, convinced that both countries can cooperate and coexist in a civilized manner, for mutual benefit, beyond differences that we have and that we will have, and contribute to peace. We hope that the U.S. president continues to use his executive powers, that he can use as president without congressional interference, to dismantle aspects of this policy that has damaged and caused hardship to our people.

AMY GOODMAN: That was President Raúl Castro.

So far, the Republican majority in Congress has rejected President Obama’s calls to lift the U.S. embargo on Cuba. Obama’s congressional opponents have also vowed to block any ambassadorial nominee to Cuba and have denounced the decision to formally remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. Today, three Cuban-American lawmakers—Florida Republican Representatives Mario Díaz-Balart, Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen—are holding a news conference in Miami. Ros-Lehtinen told The Wall Street Journal, quote, “Allowing the opening of the Cuban Embassy in Washington is nothing but another indefensible capitulation by the Obama administration to an avowed enemy of the U.S.”

Meanwhile, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest has dismissed such opponents as a vocal minority with entrenched partisan interests. Speaking Friday, Earnest said U.S. restoration of relations with Cuba has strong support in Congress.

PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST: There exists bipartisan support for advancing the policy that the president announced to normalize our relations with Cuba, but there have been some entrenched partisan interests that have tried to block this in Congress so far. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that the president can take, using his executive authority, to begin to make these changes. The president is implementing these changes because he believes it’s in the broader strategic interest of the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re joined now by José Pertierra. He is a Cuban attorney based in Washington, D.C., who represented Elián González in 2000-2001. He also represented the Venezuelan government in its efforts to extradite Luis Posada Carriles.

And we’re joined by Peter Kornbluh, who directs the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University. He’s the co-author of the book, Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana. An updated version of the book, that tells the secret story of how Obama used back-channel diplomacy to normalize diplomatic relations, and particularly looks at the role of the pope in the back-channel negotiations, will be published in September.

José Pertierra and Peter Kornbluh, it’s so good to have you with us on this truly historic day. People who are watching, listening right now hear all the traffic. We’re right across the street from the Cuban Embassy, which will soon hoist the Cuban flag for the first time in Washington, D.C., on the Cuban Embassy grounds in 54 years. José Pertierra, you’re a Cuban American. Talk about the significance of this.

JOSÉ PERTIERRA: Oh, this is very significant. This is historic. I’ve waited for this moment all my life. In 1961, I was 10 years old, and I remember as if it was yesterday when diplomatic relations were broken. There were times when I thought I’d never live to see the day.

And now that you mention flags, Amy, it’s interesting. There’s going to be a new Cuban flag hoisted in this flagpole across the street. But inside the embassy, they are going to hoist the flag that the Cuban government took back to Cuba when, on January 3rd, 1961, Dwight Eisenhower broke relations. That flag was folded, taken back to Cuba and put in a museum in Las Tunas. And it has been brought back, and it will be flying inside the embassy today.

AMY GOODMAN: Why did Dwight Eisenhower, the president of the United States, cut off relations?

JOSÉ PERTIERRA: Well, the United States, I think, has had a problem, as you know, and this show has presented to the world knowledge of that. The United States feels that it owns a large part of Latin America, and it was very hard for the United States to stomach a revolution that said Cuba is an independent and sovereign country, and set an example for the rest of Latin America. I think, really, there were a lot of reasons, but that really was at the time the reason and has been the reason why diplomatic relations have not been restored, until President Obama did so on December 17 by announcing it.

AMY GOODMAN: Peter Kornbluh, can you weigh in on that?

PETER KORNBLUH: Well, I can weigh in a little bit, but I just want to say thank you for having us here on this momentous day. There are a lot of people that never really thought they’d live to see today come, and so many people have worked for this day to arrive, and here it is right now.

You know, the more sinister reason that Eisenhower broke relations was because the United States was preparing to invade Cuba, the Bay of Pigs. And Fidel Castro had his intelligence agents in Central America reporting on these preparations, and he decided he wasn’t going to let the U.S. Embassy be a “nest of spies,” as he put it, and he was going to tell the United States they had to remove almost—I don’t know—I think 70 percent of the embassy personnel, cut the embassy way down, so that it wouldn’t be a center of this espionage and preparations for the attack. And Eisenhower seized the opportunity of Fidel expelling these people, who were in fact working to overthrow the Cuban government—he seized on that opportunity as a public relations kind of hook to say, “Well, we can’t take this insult. We’re just going to break relations with Cuba.” Things have changed in the 54 years since. And now the real work begins, I think, to actually normalize overall relations beyond just diplomatic relations.

AMY GOODMAN: Because, let’s be clear, the embargo has not been lifted. And that would have to go through Congress, is that right, José Pertierra? Is there any other way?

JOSÉ PERTIERRA: Well, the president has a great deal of authority under the Constitution to further relax the restrictions of the embargo. But you’re right, Amy, the embargo was codified by President Clinton in a move that it seems unfathomable that a president would make, that stripped not only his powers, but the power of future presidents, to, by executive order, lift restrictions against Cuba. It codified it. And it’s sitting in Congress, and it’s very difficult to do it when you have a Republican-majority Congress, especially a Republican Party that has gone off the cliff in the last few years.

PETER KORNBLUH: I think what President Obama is trying to do is use his executive powers to poke holes in this dam that is the U.S. embargo. And the holes are going to grow bigger and bigger as the kind of economic waters and cultural, social waters of U.S. interests, various interests—you know, the people’s interests, musicians’ interests, artists’ interests—

AMY GOODMAN: Silvio Rodríguez is part of the official delegation, the great Cuban musician.

PETER KORNBLUH: Exactly, exactly. And certainly economic interests, as there are quite a few corporations and hotel industry, the shipping industry, the Carnival cruise industry, that would like to get into Cuba. And as they rush through the holes in the dam that Obama has created, the dam that is the embargo, I think, is going to erode and eventually collapse. And you’re going to have Republicans saying, “Yeah, I think it doesn’t make sense to restrict trade with Cuba.”

JOSÉ PERTIERRA: The business of America is business. Isn’t that what they say?

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been pushing for the lifting of the embargo.

PETER KORNBLUH: And they will—

JOSÉ PERTIERRA: And Carlos Gutierrez, who was secretary of commerce under Bush, has come out in favor of the lifting of the blockade. So, yeah, it’s a tidal wave.

PETER KORNBLUH: Because it—you know, I mean, because, of course, business has no politics in the end. It’s there to make money. And people see opportunities in Cuba. So, but the point is, is that we can make great strides towards better relations and normal relations with Cuba, even with the embargo in place. I think we have to be patient about that. There a lot of other serious issues, actually, that Cuba and the United States are going to be discussing from this day onward—compensation for expropriated property, the whole issue of Guantánamo, the USAID programs that are focused on promoting democracy in Cuba that are great insult to Cuba’s sovereignty. These are things that, going forward, are still going to be under discussion. But let me just say, they’re going to be under discussion under a different framework of relations, a framework of normal, nonhostile, civil ties.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to go to break and then come back. We’ll continue with José Pertierra, learn about his story, how he came to the United States with his family from Cuba, representing Elián González and also representing the Venezuelan government in efforts to extradite Luis Posada Carriles, who still lives today in Florida. And Peter Kornbluh, also joining us, the head of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, co-author of the book, Back Channel to Cuba. We’ll be joined by Danny Glover and longtime activist Medea Benjamin. They are holding—Medea Benjamin and CodePink—a party outside the embassy today that will go throughout the day and the afternoon. Meanwhile, inside the embassy, 700 people will gather as the flag is hoisted for the first time, the Cuban flag, on the Cuban Embassy property in 54 years. Stay with us.

Danny Glover and Medea Benjamin on Assata, Guantánamo and Trade as Cuban Flag Rises in Washington

HAVANA TIMES – As U.S.-Cuban diplomatic relations are officially restored after five decades, we speak to two activists who have spent decades opposing U.S. policy on Cuba: the actor Danny Glover and CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin. Both have traveled to Cuba many times over the past decades despite the U.S. embargo. Benjamin lived on the island for four years and has written three books on Cuba.

They are both in Washington today for the reopening of the Cuban Embassy after 54 years. The reopened Cuban Embassy was built in 1917, becoming the first diplomatic building in this neighborhood and helping to establish this area as a diplomatic center. Fidel Castro visited the embassy in 1959 after he overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Two years later, in 1961, the United States unilaterally broke off relations with Cuba. The last time the United States and Cuba had diplomatic ties, President Dwight Eisenhower was in office. Today’s opening of embassies is just the first step in normalizing relationships between the two countries.

On Wednesday, Cuban President Raúl Castro applauded the diplomatic renewal but called on Obama to use his executive powers to remove the ongoing U.S. trade and financial embargo. So far, the Republican majority in Congress has rejected Obama’s calls to lift the U.S. embargo on Cuba. Obama’s congressional opponents have also vowed to block any ambassadorial nominee to Cuba and have denounced the decision to formally remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.


17 thoughts on “Special Broadcast from Opening of Cuban Embassy in Washington as U.S.-Cuban Diplomatic Ties Restored

  • July 23, 2015 at 1:59 pm
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    War:
    a state of armed conflict between different nations
    Oxford English Dictionary
    If there was armed conflict between the US and Cuba, it would not last a week.
    The big attempt at creating armed conflict between the US and Cuba was when Fidel Castro approved hosting USSR nuclear weapons in Cuba. He failed!

  • July 22, 2015 at 10:18 pm
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    Cooperation and a civilized manner for peace. A God send , Celebration for all.
    A good start!

  • July 21, 2015 at 9:37 pm
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    John, the empire you refer to is probably the US so i’m assuming you live there. My guess is if the empire falls you and i better have weapons to defend ourselves because the dollar we use will be worthless. where do you live?

  • July 21, 2015 at 3:32 pm
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    The US embargo has been a very useful tool for the Castro family regime to provide an excuse for all its own sins, errors, omissions and incompetence. Yes, doing that has helped the regime to maintain its power and control.
    I did not imply that it was the sole reason for keeping the regime in power – those would include imprisoning dissidents, the State Police, the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of Cuba, the CDR internal spying system and sole control of the media.
    Germany under Adolf Hitler was a National Socialist government.
    The Russian controlled Soviet Union was a communist block.
    Now I like many other contributors to Havana Times recognize that you seek to remove any responsibility for the atrocities, and totalitarian actions of these governments from the shoulders of your own form of academic socialism/communism. The rest of us live in the real world not in that Never Never land of Goodrich thinking, we know the realities.
    I think that you exaggerate the number of “Soviets” killed by the National Socialist forces. It is certain that they killed many and similarly that the Soviet forces killed many. However the Soviet forces were then used to imprison the countries of Eastern Europe until that rotten apple described as the Soviet Union rotted from within to relieve mankind of its terror.

  • July 21, 2015 at 10:50 am
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    The Soviet Union was a totalitarian state capitalist country.
    It was never communist.
    It was never socialist.
    Nazi Germany is considered to be a fascist, militaristic state and was the biggest enemy of socialism and communism which is why they killed 20 million Soviets .
    As one who is very well informed about U.S. imperialism and how it imposes totalitarian systems and poverty-creating neo-liberal capitalism upon weaker nations, I advise you to study not just Cuba , not just the U.S.-Cuba relationship but the entire history of U.S. imperialism and it’s central aim of imposing totalitarian free -enterprise upon the world .
    Without an understanding of the entire foreign policy history of the USA , you cannot intelligently discuss the present .
    And, speaking of intelligence, do I understand you to blame the U.S. embargo for KEEPING the revolution alive ?
    Yup, Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Ford, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama and all their advisers and every Congress since 1959 have been working behind the screen that is the embargo to ensure communism in Cuba.
    The Cuban people owe all these people an apology, don’t they.
    k

  • July 21, 2015 at 10:38 am
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    I think what you posted is the likeliest scenario at least until the Cuban economy gets untracked and things improve to the point that even the most Leninist of Cuba’s leadership PERHAPS be working towards a more and more democratic society .
    It’s the only way to get to that future communist state that the PCC’s name implies the leadership wants.
    That said, if the past is prologue, Cuba will eventually revert to free-enterprise capitalism as all so-called ‘communist” nations have done .
    BUT..the past cannot be prologue because we are living in a time in which super-human AI combined with s-f-like robotics will take all human jobs and do them much better and within 15-20 years
    Regardless of what Cuba or the USA does as regards economies , the future economies will not be, cannot be capitalist because there will only be smarter-than-human machines in any workplace in the world within 25 years and at least a decade earlier in the already heavily-industrialized countries.
    You cannot have consuming workers if there are no workers
    Once that super-human level of AI is reached in the early 2020s, the entire game changes for humanity .
    I would highly recommend reading ” The Rise Of The Robots: Technology And The Threat Of A Jobless Future” : Martin Ford, just published May this years as the best of the five books I’ve read on this inevitable jobless future.
    According to the authors of all five books I’ve read on this specific subject, capitalism dies in a process that we see now slowly starting with the current high unemployment and low work force numbers steadily increasing under the wide-open globalization now in full swing and, increasingly faster, the ongoing automation of the workplace which will finally drive the fatal stake into the heart of capitalism in that 15 years or so it will take to develop super-human AI
    Once unemployment passes 40-50% of the world- wide capitalist economies, capitalism dies.
    So, which ever economic route Cuba takes or the USA takes or any society takes, it will only be for the next 15-25 years unless it is a shift to socialism, communism or anarchism, any of which which will work entirely well in that near-future jobless society .
    The future is much , much better than you think.
    But only if you can survive the next fifteen horrible years or so.
    Think of unemployment like in Greece and Spain but on a worldwide basis .
    IMO

  • July 21, 2015 at 10:33 am
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    I’ve been harping on this ad infinitum and will continue that the social media avenue is what will morph this into something more likely to change the paradigm in Cuba. I’ve spoken to several friends who have visited Cuba and the peoples they interacted with aren’t dumb nor unaware that there situation is dire. That’s the reason for the defections that don’t seem to stop.
    I have faith this is what the Cuban people, some of whom who actually support the present regime, will figure out. It’s up to them and us to at least give them that opportunity. End the embargo is foremost in achieving this.

  • July 21, 2015 at 10:10 am
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    To the empire, Cuba is a thorn in its side.
    Unlike the other 70 or so interventions in which the U.S. has succeeded in maintaining or installing totalitarian economies and governments, Cuba remains standing .
    U.S. foreign policy has always been predicated on making the world safe for free-enterprise ( exploitive) capitalism which depends on totalitarian control of a given populace.
    Preventing a democratic socialist state working towards eventual communism has always been at the center of all U.S. imperial interventions because the capitalists justifiably fear democratic societies rising up and throwing out capitalism which is the antithesis of democracy.
    So ..if .. and I readily admit that is a giant IF …the U.S. terminates its war on the Cuban economy and the Cuban economy is allowed to do what it can under state capitalism, things will greatly improve in Cuba across the board and across the entire population as its socialist-style distribution system ensures.
    Then the time will be ripe for introducing cooperatives and otherwise democratizing the Cuban society. The Cuban government has always gone slowly into new cross-societal measures as they feel their way through the assault from the USG . Once freed from the fear of U.S. intervention, the leadership in Cuba will have no reason to NOT democratize at a more rapid pace and certainly much faster than was possible under existential attack.
    Obama’s strategy of punching so many holes in the embargo that it becomes a bad joke is a good one and should work fairly
    IMO , I think Congress will shut down the embargo in a year or two just to stop looking foolish

  • July 21, 2015 at 7:11 am
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    None, but none of the mouthpieces currently in place will have an influential role in the post-Castro Cuba. The calculus is simple. In order for Bruno to get and keep his job as Foreign Minister, he had to toe the Castro propaganda line even against the better judgment of thinking foreign policy minds in Cuba. That behavior was great for his career as long as the Castros are in power. But after they leave town, these same qualifications will work against him. It’s like when Republicans leave office and the Democrats take over. The next wave of leaders are the ones toiling away in the shadows today building their power base.

  • July 21, 2015 at 6:04 am
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    The US doesn’t need Cuba for the big bucks John but with regards toward the Caribbean and
    South America, they certainly do. Lots of natural resources and a population no longer left in the dark ages.

  • July 21, 2015 at 6:02 am
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    The interviews you mention will never happen but Yoani is still blogging and I read her every day. That’s progress in my view. I like Bruno Rodriguez out of all the players in the Cuban power structure as he dresses the best and doesn’t have that thousand mile stare. It’s all smoke and mirrors but a good suit makes the man and he seems the most genuine. Hopefully he’ll be a major player otherwise we’re stuck with Murillo who I can’t look at for more than a mini second or I’ll be turned into pumpkin!

  • July 20, 2015 at 8:57 pm
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    The Cuban’s are a threat to go to democratic socialism ? Not likely. My bet is state capitalism mixed with strong socialistic programs in education and healthcare with politburo presiding over one party state. The official plan is 40 to 45% of economy to go private. State companies that don’t produce are to go bankrupt. The barter system is out, monetized economy with taxes and means tested programs are in.

  • July 20, 2015 at 5:56 pm
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    A few points:
    The Castros may or may not have democratic ( socialist ) intentions once the U.S. ends its long war on the island.
    We won’t know until the war is over indeed if it is ever over because the oligarchic Congress of the USA is not amenable to ending that economic war .
    If they follow all the Stalinist Communist Party examples , then no , there will not be democracy in Cuba .
    If, OTOH, they institute Poder Popular as written and keep to its spirit then Cuba will evolve into a democratic electoral system , if they let go of state control and make all the workplace and economic decisions at the worker level then they will have a democratic economy to go well with.
    Cuba’s Communist Party has been Fidelista and not Stalinist since the beginning of the revolution because the Stalinist PCC , like all CPs worldwide always sided with any established government . In the U.S. the CP urged voters to go with Johnson over Goldwater back in the 60s as the lesser of two evils.
    Fidel was/is not a lesser- of- two- evil- capitalists sort of man.
    They do not have to make any political changes to Poder Popular to make Cuba democratic. They just have to follow it to the letter .
    Cuba will not always be communist because it isn’t communist now.
    Small “c” communism is a future state that is intended and possible only after a transition from totalitarian capitalism to democratic socialism.
    This stepping up necessary in order to slowly introduce the concept of democracy to a world that knows and understands only totalitarianism in the four belief sets that make up the vast bulk of their lives: economy, government, religion and now in some parts of the educated world, to a lesser degree: the traditionally primitive ( patriarchal) nuclear family structures.
    Problems with all economies, all governments and all societies can be righted utilizing democratic principles of one-person, one vote democratic majority decision making across all major sectors of world society.
    Cuba , at least has a possibility of turning towards democracy and no one can rationally say the same about the oligarchic system that has evolved in the USA.
    I am highly skeptical of the Cuban leadership but hope for a future ( post -war) democratic outcome for which they already have sound structures in place .
    It’s too soon to say simply because the Congress says the war is still on to destroy the Cuban economy just as it has for 54 years .
    Imperialism is a bitch.

  • July 20, 2015 at 5:27 pm
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    Don’t worry about the capitalists making inroads in Cuba Mr. Goodrich. GAESA will retain 51% of any project and the Cuban employees will continue to be paid (if the regimes rates can be described as such) by the state not by any foreign investor.
    The Soviet Union being a Communist/Socialist entity eventually imploded having wrought much havoc and destruction. It’s agreement with National Socialist Germany to carve up Poland – which both then invaded, reflected the avarice for land commonly seen in totalitarian states and currently evident with Mr. Putin in Ukraine.
    The US embargo enabled the Castro family regime to retain power by attributing all it’s errors and incompetence to the embargo and cloaking the regimes responsibility for impoverishing the people of Cuba.
    Finally, as one who is informed about Cuba, may I advise you to visit Cuba and actually experience the effects of the regime. It will help you to understand what we are discussing!

  • July 20, 2015 at 2:49 pm
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    Dude, you just make this stuff up don’t you. What would lead you to believe that the Castro’s have any intention of instituting democracy, of any sort? The Castro’s have already said that there would be no politicians changes, that Cuba is and always will be communist. ….well Castrista at any rate.

  • July 20, 2015 at 12:06 pm
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    Is there any chance that after the US flag is raised in Havana, that a national radio station in Cuba will conduct an interview with Berta Soler, Medea Benjamin’s counterpart with the Ladies in White? Can you imagine Yoani Sánchez or Anthony Rodiles, like Danny Glover, joining in on that interview?

  • July 20, 2015 at 11:32 am
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    The capitalists are between a rock and a hard place.
    They want to do business with Cuba to make money but the Cubans are a threat to go to (democratic) socialism once the embargo is lifted and the threat of the good example a democratic society anywhere in the world would represent to the world-dominating American Empire is the overriding concern .
    This is not a new priority but one that has been THE U.S. foreign policy driver since the 1918 U.S./European invasion of the new Soviet Union.
    ( see “Killing Hope” and ‘Rogue State” websites for long lists of U.S. invasions/interventions)
    It should not be forgotten that the 54-year old embargo has indeed achieved its first goal by impoverishing the entire island but has badly failed in its end goal of causing the Cuban people to overthrow their own revolution .
    So at this late date, the embargo has to be seen as a failure by the Empire, the counter-revolutionaries who frequent these pages, an embarrassment of policy and a hindrance to better relations between the USA, the region and the world.
    The importance, the priority of squashing any and all attempts at democratic systems STILL prevails however and the maintenance of the embargo by the Congress bears witness to the real reason for the embargo.
    I invite informed responses .
    I niv

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