The Triumph of Common Sense: Cuba & the USA Re-Establish Relations

Sobre el restablecimiento de relaciones diplomáticas entre Cuba y EEUU, y la liberación de Gross y los tres cubanos presos en EEUU

Pedro Campos

Barack Obama and Raul Castro address their respective nations on Wednesday. Foto: progresosemanal.us

HAVANA TIMES — The United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations following high-level talks and the release of Allan Gross and the three Cuban agents convicted of espionage in the US, by Havana and Washington respectively.

I thank Raul Castro and Barack Obama for these important steps, which open up a new chapter in the history of relations between the two countries and herald a new stage in the history of Cuba. I thank Pope Francis for having helped in this reconciliation and Canada for having facilitated it.

The decision spells the triumph of common sense and wisdom, of the constructive and objective forces within the two governments, and the defeat of the conservative forces that, on both sides, aspired to maintain the old status quo we inherited from the Cold War.

Obama said he wanted to become Cuba’s ally and help it move forward towards the 21st century. Raul stated that the blockade was still in place and had to be lifted. As regards the lack of Internet connectivity, I don’t have any precise information on what the two governments talked and agreed to.

Judging from what the two leaders said, it is evident other issues were addressed and that they agreed to continue the exchange.

Photo: Alejandro Arce
Photo: Alejandro Arce

What was clearly expressed by the two is that a period in which relations between Cuba and the United States are to be normalized has begun, and that this should have consequences on the blockade/embargo and, most importantly, on Cuban society.

This historical event that we are fortunate to be witnessing should create the conditions for peaceful co-existence and good relations between neighbors who share spaces and common interests in multiple spheres, despite their differences.

This respect for differences should be reflected inwardly in Cuba, as a first step towards a process of democratization in which we are able to settle our disagreements through an inclusive dialogue and where freedom of expression and association become a reality.

Those of us who champion a participative and democratic form of socialism and have always been opposed to aggressive policies, pressures and the embargo/blockade, welcome these steps taken by the Cuban and US governments, and we hope they will be the beginning of long, fruitful cooperation between the two nations, and the definitive start of a new era of peace, development and harmony for the Cuban nation.


8 thoughts on “The Triumph of Common Sense: Cuba & the USA Re-Establish Relations

  • December 19, 2014 at 4:12 am
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    My sources are very good:

    Just two links:
    From Wikileaks:

    “On the march back to Pollan’s house, the mob swelled to 250-300 people. Poloff observed 25-30 additional mob participants leaving a bus with “Pastors
    for Peace” painted on the side in English.”
    Source: Cable: 09HAVANA736_a – http://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09HAVANA736_a.html

    Cuba: Pastors for Repression | Babalú Blog – http://babalublog.com/2011/12/19/cuba-pastors-for-repression/

    Buses donated by Pastors for Peace have ended up in construction companies that worked on the Cayo hotels and lots of other economic entities.

  • December 19, 2014 at 3:17 am
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    On the other hand: neither are the democrats unified in wanting to lift the sanctions. Bob Menendez is as indignant as Marco Rubio.
    Lets hope that those with a keen analysis and strong ethics prevail over those that want a quick (electoral) buck as-t the expense of the Cuba people.

  • December 19, 2014 at 3:14 am
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    Obama is not merely “appeasing” Cuba. He is caving in and may be the one that saves the Castro regime from economic ruin.
    His analysis is wrong: while in the past the sanctions were compensated by Soviet and Venezuelan subsidies that hid the economic disaster Cuba is. Now with Venezuelan subsidies in doubt and a high need for foreign investment Cuba needed a better relationship with the US. instead of capitalizing on that Obama wasted the political capital.
    Obama again has shown what a disaster he is in international politics.

  • December 18, 2014 at 9:05 pm
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    Your sources are suspect. During my stay in Sancti Spiritus, one of the Pastors for Peace buses–in fact it looks like the very same bus depicted in the foto–was parked every night next to the Plaza Honorato, and was used to transport adults from an outlying district to attend evening tech. ed. courses.

  • December 18, 2014 at 8:54 pm
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    but just because most Republicans in Congress favor continuation of sanctions does not mean that they present a united front; many Republicans from the Mid-Western farm states favor ending the embargo, as do most Democrates, of course; whether the more pragmatic members of both parties have the votes to overide it remains to be seen. Let’s hope that Ros-Lehtinens and other Cuban-American troglodytes in Congress die off soon, to be replaced by younger Cuban-Americans who look foreward, rather than backward.

  • December 18, 2014 at 2:50 pm
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    For too long, Ros-Lehtinen and her kin have accused Obama of appeasing Cuba, when in fact, he is not. The situation where Ros-Lehtinen and her Cuban-American brethren in Congress (except Joe Garcia) criticize Obama’s moves has been denounced by the CubaNow director Ric Herrero as “concession mentality”.
    You are right. Sanctions are codified in law and would need to be lifted as per Congress, which is why Obama preferred executive action when dismantling many restrictions on exports to Cuba beyond those passed by Congress in 2000. Now Raul Castro will face pressure from liberal commies in his gov’t to lift the ban on Cubans importing and exporting goods, since the monopoly on exports and imports is notoriously inefficient and cumbersome.

  • December 18, 2014 at 11:24 am
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    Interesting picture you put here: a bus donated by “pastors for peace” aka “Pastors for Castro”.
    Some of the buses donated by that organization have been shown to be used to ferry around “rapid response brigades” to attack dissidents.
    As such the picture is a nice alegory of what is wrong with the action taken by Obama: well intentioned maybe, but ignorant of the reality in Cuba.
    That reality will come back to haunt Obama as – as always (see the 75) – the Castro regime will soon show nothing fundamental has changed and poor Obama will be left with egg on his face after another failure in international diplomacy.

  • December 18, 2014 at 11:19 am
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    I would say the triumph of stupidity and political short-sightedness.
    By handing closer relation to the Castro regime without any clear reciprocal action from the Castro regime Obama has set back the cause of the Cuban people by years.
    The regime will feel emboldened and the elite will think they can indeed get away with holding on to power without meaningful political change and with the help of US cash.
    Luckily the sanctions that bite are a matter of law and beyond the reach of Obama. With a senate and a congress where in many cases bipartisan agreement can be found on demanding more from the Castro regime this will soon be shown to be a Pyrrhic victory for the Castro regime. In the US legislature the Castro regime will find itself opposing less gullible and more principled men.
    This could turn in to a disaster for the regime as people in Cuba will now demand progress while a steadfast legislature can use that to ensure real change in Cuba.
    Obama – without any real concessions of the regime – is offering survival. That man may go down in history as the one that saved the Castro regime unless the legislature steps in.

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