Major Breakthrough in US-Cuba Relations

cuba eeuuUS-Cuba Work out Prisoner Swap

HAVANA TIMES — The United States and Cuba have come to an understanding that could mark a new era in relations between the two neighboring countries. Cuba has released the US agent Alan Gross and the US has freed the remaining three agents known internationally as the Cuban Five.

Another unnamed US intelligence agent, who has been imprisoned in Cuba for nearly two decades, was also released in the exchange.

Both Raul Castro in Cuba and Barack Obama in Washington are scheduled to speak at noon today on the future of US-Cuba relations.

See the details of President Obama’s speech on Cuba.

41 thoughts on “Major Breakthrough in US-Cuba Relations

  • The majority of Cuban-Americans still vote Republican. They will support just about any Republican candidate over Hillary. Other than Rand Paul, all the leading Republicans expected to run for the GOP nomination support a hard line on the Castros.

  • Suppose a GOP candidate ran for president in 2016 and he tried to win over Cuban American voters by accusing Obama of appeasement, but his efforts end up getting a bloody nose when the majority of Cuban American voters reject the GOP candidate in favor of Hillary Clinton. The last time a GOP candidate called for lifting the embargo was in 2012, when Ron Paul accused Cuban American hardliners of living in the dark ages. So if a 2016 GOP candidate fails to win the Cuban American vote by condemning Obama’s Cuba policy as appeasement, then the GOP may have to modify its Cuba stance by rejecting old-school confrontation and embracing Obama’s approach to win the hearts and minds of younger Cuban Americans.

  • There have been different forms of Fascism. Spain’s fascist dictator Franco never launched upon any territorial expansion. The essential characteristics of a Fascist state is one with a single ruling party, a state-corporate monopoly economy, and compliant unions, all dominated by the military. That fits Raul Castro’s Cuba to a “T”.

  • Good questions. You have to remember that Fidel Castro accused the US of bullying Cuba. Some Cubans are afraid that growing US cultural influence in Cuba will contaminate Cuban culture and revolutionary values, others will just calm down and stop being paranoid over US consumerism seeping into the island.

  • Dropping sanctions requires congressional approval, but delisting cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism can be done by the Obama administration itself, and that is in obama’s gameplan to remove many symbols of the us isolation of cuba by executive fiat

  • Again and again, you inappropriately use fascist when describing what Cuba’s ruling clique would look like now if money flows onto the island. Fascist supposes you not only crush dissent but also develop an appetite for territorial conquest. But neither Raul castro nor his henchmen are bent on foreign conquest or creating a Hispanic, all white master race

  • The best of this turn in policy is that three very brave patriotic men have been
    released from US torture chambers. Everything else is not good or so so. What I
    mean is that the US presidency realizes that the socialist revolution in Cuba
    is dead, that the vast majority of the people are so disheartened with the lack
    of real socialism and there with it participatory democracy that what they seek
    is what most people in the world of disillusion wish for: consumerism and every
    man/woman for himself.

    Most US
    capitalists wish for an end of the blockade so that they can earn profits. The
    Cuban beaucratic government seeks an end to the blockade so that it can
    continue to avoid continuing the permanent revolution set in motion in the
    beginning, which would require implementing true decision-making by the people, and ownership of the economy by those who produce and those who serve, thereby gradually eliminating an elitist leadership.

    What can be expected is that Cuba will continue to beg for trade with
    capitalist-imperialist-warmongering US corporations/government and abandon any true socialist program both at home and within an already stifled ALBA.

    You can see more of my analyses at

  • Money will change the oligarchy from socialists to fascists. Sadly, it will not bring democracy to Cuba. They will maintain the iron grip of the military.

    I must point out, this new direction is being driven by Democrats in the US, not Republicans.

    Way back in the 1840s and 1850s there was a growing Annexationist movement in the US and Cuba. The US Annexationists were Southern Democrats who wanted to preserve slavery and thought that by bringing Cuba into the union this could be accomplished. Republicans opposed slavery and they opposed the annexation of Cuba.

  • A Cuban friend of mine last night shared an interesting perspective: he believes that as more money gets pumped into the military oligarchy, these old farts and their younger charges will want to spend their new riches in Miami, Madrid and even Havana just like they see others do. They will want to come out from behind their wall homes to openly drive new Mercedes and relax on yachts anchored in the marina. To do this they will have to drop the socialism schtick and embrace capitalism full-on. Even the culturally discreet Chinese are less and less able to hide their voracious consumerism. My Cuban buddy says prosperity will do to Cubans in Havana what it did to them in Miami. It will turn them into the worst of all forms of political beings……Republicans. (hehehe) So, in a perverted sort of way, this may work out after all.

  • Obama has provided the carrot, Congress still holds the stick, the embargo. Obama called on the Cuban government to respect human rights and freedoms in Cuba, so perhaps Congress can make it known they will only lift the embargo when the Castro regime shows real progress on human rights.

    Only last week, on International Human Rights Day, the Cuban state security police arrested over 120 protesters from the Ladies in White and other pro-democracy groups. That sort of continuing police brutality and repression does not bode well for the future.

  • I agree with you on this, Moses. As far as we know so far, the US has given up too much and gotten very little in return. Perhaps there is more to come? I respect Mr Obama for eloquently advocating for human rights and freedoms in Cuba and calling on the Cuban government to stop repressing dissidents. It’s good that he called for groups representing Cuban civil society to attend the upcoming Americas summit.

    Will al this lead to freedom & democracy in Cuba? I still have my doubts, as 25 years of US trade relations with China & Vietnam have not lead to democracy & human rights in those countries. Perhaps Cuba will be a special case, given the close geographical and family ties.

    IF all this amounts to is more money flowing into the regime & the military oligarchy, then Obama has just thrown them a lifeline, and condemned the Cuban people to decades more of life in a dictatorship. Let’s pray this lifeline turns into an anchor which sinks the Castro regime once and for all.

  • Congratulations. After 55 years of Communist dictatorship in Cuba, the Castro regime has finally won the fight against freedom and democracy. The US capitalists have given up and agreed to do business with the military oligarchy which rules Cuba. And you consider that a victory?!?!?!

  • Really? What do ordinary Cubans get out of this? Will the Cuban government respect the human rights of the Cuban people? Do they get free speech? The right to form free labour unions? Free elections?

    Mr. Obama called for all those things in his speech. General Raul Castro did not mention any of them in his speech.

    So what exactly do ordinary Cubans get out of this?

  • As I pointed out, but which you ignored, the opposition in Congress to lifting the embargo exists on both sides of the aisle. Democrats and Republicans continue to support the embargo. This is not a simple GOP vs Democrat ideological split. There are even some Republicans who favour lifting the embargo, such as Sen. Jeff Flake of New Mexico.

  • The new travel rules announced by Obama do not include allowing US citizens to visit Cuban tourist resorts. There will be broader definitions of “purposeful travel” but no tourism as yet.

  • I remember you. Name-calling instead of facts, rhetoric instead of reason. The US has not “lost” anything. The issue is what have the Cuban people ‘gained’? Time will tell.

  • Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Johnny!

    I decided to move away from this website because of the bile spewed from right-wing trolls such as you.

    But now the time has come for me to say one last thing. Yes you are ‘eating your guts’. You fool no one. You are such an hypocrite. For so long (years?) you have praised the stupid US policy towards Cuba. The imperialist policy of aggression an isolation. Now Uncle Sam finally admits he LOST in 1959 by restoring diplomatic relations, recognizing the sovereignty of the Cuban Nation.

    Now, get a life.

  • I don’t see the votes in Congress to lift the embargo, at least not in the next two years. That said, when I woke up this morning I didn’t see this agreement coming either. Anything is possible but as long as the Castros are in charge, lifting the embargo remains a long shot.

  • I am here. I am surprised but encouraged that President Obama will move forward with this agreement in the hopes of bringing freedom to Cuba. Only time will tell.

  • While I don’t agree with President Obama’s strategy, his speech confirms to me that he wants for Cuba what I want for my Cuban family. I think we gave away too much and have received too little….so far. But who knows, just like I had no idea that the Castros have been holding a Cuban spy for 20 years, maybe (hopefully) there is more to this agreement than meets the eye. By the way, I am not “eating my guts” whatever that means.

  • Did anyone see this coming? I certainly didn’t.
    Presumably this will lead to improved trade between Cuba and the US. How soon?
    When will we see an increase in the number of US tourists in Cuba? No doubt we can see problems with such an influx, but it will bring needed foreign exchange.

    What political concessions will be asked of Cuba in order to get a deal? Internally, and in foreign policy.

  • I first visited Cuba in 1970, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time!

  • Where’s Moses? Did I hear Obama quoting Jose marti?

  • Correct. This President has just dropped something else into the lap of Congress, who refuses to do anything. In the end, this will make the GOP look worse. They bragged about how they are going to get so much done since they are the majority now……well…..time to put up or shut up.

  • Now watch Cuban agriculture flower again into a major food producer able to withstand the worst that Climate Change throws at it — something the United States will/is unable to cope with, especially in Florida and California — without adopting and being controlled by a severe capitalist oligarchy….

  • This is wonderful news. I could not have expected to wake up to this today. I know those who have been using this as political leverage and fear mongering are going to be upset, but that’s too bad. I can’t wait to be able to visit.

  • Know you know the reason why $ 600 million was spent on the new Melia Marina Varadero.
    Gordon Robinson Port Alberni B.C. Canada

  • Assuming Congress agree to Obama’s proposals and intentions, the infantile behaviour has festered far too long.
    It will be interesting to see how the flowing months pan out.

  • Except the US will do exactly the same to Cuba as it has done to Mexico.
    Which means rampant violence and corruption are on the way.
    It starts with the spies and political agitators in the US embassy.
    20 years and it will make today’s Mexico look like heaven.
    With major mass death across the Island.

  • Open diplomatic relations only to recognize the Cuban people, who have no democracy. Otherwise no business with dictatorships. Spend your tourist dollars in places where people can vote, not on regimes that imprison people for setting up private ISPs.

  • I guess we will see if your opinion that steps like these which President Obama has just announced will actually lead to freedom and democracy in Cuba.

    I’m listening to Obama’s speech now, and he has called on Raul Castro to allow freedom of speech, free labour unions and free elections. Let’s see what Raul has to say about that.

    If this move by Obama does bring freedom and democracy to Cuba, I will “eat my hat” and recant my previous statements to the contrary. I will admit I was wrong and you were right. On the other hand, if it does not bring freedom and democracy, can we expect some admission of mistake from your part?

  • Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) continues to oppose lifting the embargo. He is joined by many other Democrats.

  • The only potential obstruction would come from the GOP, and Wall St wants Cuba open. Since the embargo, Americans have re-routed their vacation resorts to Mexico, but cartel violence and rampant corruption have made many resort towns too dangerous to visit. Havana is far and away the more attractive option.

  • POR FAVOR! Invitamos a los Obama a Cuba. Cuando se reúnan las maravilloso pueblo cubano las cosas cambiarán. Estados Unidos necesita tu actitud discernidor de imágenes. Cogí y hac cambió mi vida!!
    Made my daY!!!

  • It’s about time! Sorry Moses, I know it must be eating your guts that cooler heads have prevailed in finally bringing this stand-off to a close. And it seems it will also throw open the doors to normalizing relations in the months to come too. My respect for Obama has just gone up 10 fold. Indeed, it’s about time.

  • Also, sources say President Obama plans to announce the opening of a U.S. embassy in Havana and call on Congress to lift the long-standing embargo.

    Obama has the authority to open the embassy, but I don’t see the US Congress agreeing to his request to lift the embargo. Not unless Raul Castro makes one hell of a major announcement to allow free speech, free association, free political parties and free & democratic elections in Cuba.

  • This is wonderful news!

  • great news. in any case the cubans were here to inflltrate terrorist groups in miami and are hero throughout cuba and latin america. time to end the silly embargo and end designation of cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. but with a republican majority that wont happen.

  • Amen!

  • Cuba has also agreed to release a “U.S. intelligence source who has been jailed in Cuba for more than 20 years, although authorities did not identify that person for security reasons.”

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