US-Cuba Relations the Day After (Video Interviews)

Barack Obama.
Barack Obama.

HAVANA TIMES — Today we bring you a one hour special program from Democracy Now analyzing the announcements on Wednesday by US President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro on the results of secret talks held for months between high level figures of the two administrations with assistance from Pope Francis.

“Cut Loose the Shackles of the Past”: U.S. and Cuba Announce a New Dawn in Diplomatic Relations

Democracy Now

President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced Wednesday that the United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time in more than half a century. The historic deal will include the opening of a U.S. embassy in Havana and comes with a prisoner exchange.

Live from Cuba, we go to Havana for reaction from Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University. “Finally after 55 years, an element of sanity and effectiveness and modernization has arrived to the insane U.S. policy that U.S. presidents have been pursuing towards Cuba or all these years,” Kornbluh says. He is the co-author of the book, “Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana.”

Does the Release of the Cuban Five Prove the U.S. Failed to Destroy Cuba After Decades of Trying?

As a new chapter in U.S.-Cuban relations begins, we host a roundtable discussion about the prisoners released as part of the new deal. Cuba freed USAID contractor Alan Gross and a former Cuban intelligence officer who who worked secretly for the CIA, and the United States released the remaining members of the Cuban Five: Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino. We speak with attorney Martin Garbus of the Cuban Five legal team and broadcast an excerpt from our 2013 interview with the first freed member of the Cuban Five, René González, who describes why he came to the United States to investigate militant Cuban exile groups. We also discuss the significance of the new relationship between the two countries. “Our government has been trying to destroy the Cuban Revolution since day one … and essentially this is an admission that it didn’t succeed,” says guest Michael Ratner, co-author of “Who Killed Che?: How the CIA Got Away with Murder.” We are also joined by Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, who met twice with Gross while he was detained.

Can Obama Lift the Embargo on Cuba Without Congress in Effort to Normalize U.S.-Cuba Relations?

We look at the details of the new normalized relations between the United States and Cuba, which include an easing of restrictions on banking, investment and travel, and discuss whether President Obama can lift the embargo on Cuba without congressional approval. We speak with Robert Muse, an expert on U.S. laws relating to Cuba and attorney based in Washington, D.C. His recent article published in Americas Quarterly is “U.S. Presidential Action on Cuba: The New Normalization?” We also speak with Michael Ratner about what will happen to the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Joining the discussion live from Havana is Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

5 thoughts on “US-Cuba Relations the Day After (Video Interviews)

  • You are not informed that a few years back term limits were approved by the Cuban parliament, after Raul finishes his term (2018) no Castro will run, the new leadership is much younger (younger than the host of millionaires and lawyer in the US congress.). Shame US media does not cover this…voting is not obligatory and more than 80 per cent voted in 2013…go figure!

  • Any chance for free elections in Cuba? Enough of two brother lording it over Cuba for 50+ years. I don’t think queen Victoria rained that long.

    Any chance for a free and independent press? Do you think Cubans can now freely access without fear?

    Any chance for freedom of assembly? Or will the Castro’s still beat little old ladies who’s only “crime” is to speak out against the government while armed with deadly flowers?

    I truly hope this opening up, this Cuban spring, will bear fruit and provide Cubans not with more Communist propaganda, but with the freedom to achieve their potential

  • Even funnier.

  • What a joyous day for progressives who have participated in the global campaign to free the Cuban heroes, but had no expectation that diplomatic relations would be renewed. Democracy, but not plutocracy, will continue to expand in Cuba, now that there is less fear of the US policies. So Cuba will be removed from the terrorist countries list, I hope they place Miami on the list while Pasada Carriles is there and the other terrorists..

  • Curiously enough, the media source Democracy Now presented a series of interviews on the changing relationship between Cuba & the US, but nobody even mentioned the topic of democracy in Cuba. Lot’s a talk about how bad and insane and nasty the US has been toward Cuba, but not one word about the lack of human rights and democracy in Cuba.

    Funny, that.

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