President Obama’s announcement of his intentions to end 53 years of acrimony toward Cuba, and move toward normalization of relations, including reopening the Embassy in Havana, came as a shock to many.
Polls show that the American public has been supportive of the idea for awhile now, however, and that anti-Cuba sentiment is something a lot of people got over literally decades ago.
Being the obvious thing to do, and a popular thing to do, doesn’t mean it’s going to get done, however, and Congressional hawks are promising to stop normalization, as well as to block any nomination of an ambassador to Cuba.
The travel ban easing will allow people to travel to Cuba for government or business purposes, and also some family visits, though the US will continue to ban all travel to the island for tourism.
The US severed all diplomatic ties with Cuba in 1961, and while most of the rest of the world ended the Cold War era hostility decades ago, maintained it through today. President Obama declared that in this case, isolation didn’t work.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R – FL) dubbed Obama the “appeaser-in-chief” for proposing a return to normal relations, with others declaring the move ill-timed, and threatening the pressure 53 years of unsuccessful sanctions put on it. Sen. Rubio went on to condemn the pope for his involvement in the negotiations as well.
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