Sunday, December 28, 2014

U.S. restores diplomatic relations with Cuba

Last Wednesday President Obama announced the the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba. Catalyzed by a year and a half of secret prisoner trade negotiations facilitated by the Vatican itself, the US exchanged Alan Gross and an unnamed american spy for the last three members of the Cuban Five. The US is now looking to open up a full embassy in Cuba.

This move looks to end mistrust stemming from the cold war as trade is reestablished with almost 55 year estranged region. While travel bans were lifted in 2010, this new deal will loosen both travel and economic policies even further. Although the shift in diplomacy seems to be positive-- the Pope even sanctioned the deal-- there are those who are against such a change. A number of Cuban refugees spoken out against it with reference to the horrors they saw under the Castro regime and the reminder that a Castro is still in power.

Questions:
Do you think the US should restore relations with Cuba?
Are the opponents to such changes justified in their opposition?
What benefits or drawbacks might occur from the loosening of economic restrictions on trade to Cuba?


See this? This is Cuba. Looks nice doesn't it?

6 comments:

Wesley Lee said...

I feel that restoring relations with Cuba is the right move. While I understand the opposition to such changes by Cuban refugees in the United States, the cold war was over 50 years ago. It is a different time and calls for the release of previous restrictions. Freeing Cuba from trade restrictions could provide us with another viable trade partner. Although Raul Castro, a member of the Castro family, is still in power, I doubt there will be a repeat of the atrocities committed by the Castro Regime. International pressure would be too strong. I feel that it is also safe to say that there won't be a Cuban Missile Crisis Part 2

Manuel Huerta-Alvarado said...

The endeavor of restoration can be seen as an effective mutualism. Not in the sense of a doctrine of peace but a form of relation that can provide benefits for both sides of the party. This dual integration into the world economy will serve as momentum for economic growth and development, also a a way to reduce poverty. A generation's thoughts can be altered by the times they live in. They develop a filter through which they will see the world. An example is those who lived through the great depression and how they have greater concern for their economic status. Those who lived through the era of fear in the cold war will continue to feel the same way because they will consider some components of their lives to remain constants. This is why it is natural for those to be justified in their opposition because they have become more cautious when flipping this coin of relationship.

http://www.oecd.org/derec/unitedkingdom/40700982.pdf

Brian Yee said...

Obama's decision to end a rigid and outdated policy of isolating Cuba that had failed to achieve change on the island is in my opinion, the right decision. By loosening economic restrictions on trade to Cuba, the US can increase the amount of money that can be sent to Cubans and allowing export of telecommunications devices and services. The policy shift essentially opens to more commerce in certain areas and benefits both countries. While the easing of these restrictions are great, there's some that remain. For example, US tourism wouldn't be broadened on the Caribbean Island and this can complicate public opinion on foreign affairs with Cuba. I don't think the opponents are justified in their opposition since as Wesley pointed out, times have changed. There is no need to hold grudges or certain prejudices. It's about time that this was addressed so that we can move forward into the new generation.

Douglas Kirsher said...

I think it is time for the US and Cuba to restore relations. There is a small number of politically powerful Cuban Americans who oppose better relationships with Cuba. But these are people who were affected by what has happened in the past. Younger Cuban Americas don’t have the same feelings and want to see this change. Politics need to adjust with the times and the times are ready for relations to improve between the US and Cuba. Hopefully by having more open economic trade with Cuba, this will help the Cuban people. Some fear that it will be the Castro government that will benefit from more open trade. I hope the Castro government will understand that they need to adapt to the times and provide better conditions and rights to their citizens.

anish amirapu said...

To start yes Cuba does look pretty nice (at least from a map never been there). From the comments here the favoring opinion is that Obama did make the right choice and I must add to that trend. It shows the forward thinking of the American people in how we change from just 30 years ago. Well this is a free country (for the most part) so people are entitled to their opinion. But yes they are justified because change can be a scary thing and not all people can handle it. Also people might think that America is becoming soft. One benefit that I think we'd all benefit from are those Cuban cigars so whole measure is valid.

Caitlin Hilbert said...

I had read in an article published in late December stating that Obama had publicly planned to re-instate relations with Cuba as early as 2007 when he was campaigning for Presidency. The editorial he published was met with controversy from the Cuban-American community; it appears that a large portion of Cuban-Americans are apprehensive to restore relations with an oppressive regime such as the Castro's. This move was more than likely political, but why Obama postponed it until seven years later is a bit mystifying.