Like two stubborn family members, Cuba and the U.S. got into a really bad argument decades ago that almost led to nuclear holocaust and they haven’t been friends ever since. And then today, the White House dropped a bombshell: Commissar Obama said he will seek to normalize relations between the two countries that severed diplomatic ties in 1961.
The unexpected announcement included the release of American contractor Alan Gross who had been held for five years in a Cuban prison and is now back with his family. The president explained why the status quo ain’t working.
“We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries,” Mr. Obama said in a nationally televised statement from the White House. The deal will “begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas” and move beyond a “rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born.”
The shift in policy was well-received by the right, as you can imagine. Several key players in the Republican party offered very reasonable responses:
“There is no ‘new course’ here, only another in a long line of mindless concessions to a dictatorship that brutalizes its people and schemes with our enemies,” Boehner said. “If anything, this emboldens all state sponsors of terrorism, as they now have an even better idea of what the president meant when he once told Russian leaders he would have ‘more flexibility’ after his re-election.
“This entire policy shift announced today is based on an illusion, based on a lie,” Rubio, who is the son of Cuban immigrants, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “The White House has conceded everything and gained little.”
“This president is the single worst negotiator we have had in the White House in my lifetime,” Rubio said.
I will do all in my power to block the use of funds to open an embassy in Cuba. Normalizing relations with Cuba is bad idea at a bad time.
— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) December 17, 2014
Oh, and this rando.
How come Obama and his family aren't vacationing in the "Communist Utopia of Cuba?"
— Patrick Fornari (@FornariSense) December 17, 2014
(Photo: Jose Parla)