Pope Francis encouraged US, Cuba to pursue closer relationship; prisoner transfers finalized at Vatican meeting this fall


Pope Francis encouraged US, Cuba to pursue closer relationship; prisoner transfers finalized at Vatican meeting this fall


CBS: The Vatican helped Cuba talks. Pope Francis sent a letter to Pres. Obama & Castro to resolve the Alan Gross situation

BBC: “Historic shift” in US and Cuba ties bbc.com/news/live/world-us-canada-30522453

When plane left Cuban airspace, Alan Gross stood up, called daughters & announced “I’m free,” spokeswoman says. cnn.it/1zw43VP


Rubio: Obama’s Cuba Deal Is ‘A Terrible Setback’ For The Oppressed


President Obama to Make Statement On Cuba, Alan Gross — 12 PM ET


Yes, apparently Pope Francis is “heavily involved” in this whole matter and it sounds like also helpful in getting the American released.


I’ll have to say Cubans still flee there as much as they can. They get on rafts, I saw one story and go to Honduras and then up through Mexico. I’d think they would try to go directly to Florida but maybe they had reasons.

nytimes.com/2014/10/10/us/sharp-rise-in-cuban-migration-stirs-worries-of-a-mass-exodus.html?_r=0 Directly to Florida in this story.


Leahy, Flake, Van Hollen flew to Cuba for Alan Gross politi.co/1zw8oII



Coast Guard patrols the coast of Florida and turns back boats from Cuba

At least they did in the past


We normalized relations with China and Vietnam, I don’t see why we can’t with Cuba?


I could be wrong, but it was geopolitical with China and Vietnam. Relations were normalized with China as a counterweight against the Soviet Union. With Vietnam as a regional counterweight to China.

I don’t see a geopolitical advantage to enriching the communist party in Cuba, which increasing remittances and trade will surely do.


Opening up to Cuba will probably do a lot of damage to the Communist party; more than sanctions.


“What did Raúl say to the Americans to make this happen? Shhhh Fidel, I am not sure…just smile and look like we understand it!”


That is hard to believe, because the Soviet Union is no more. Yet we still maintain relations with China. If the existence of the Soviet Union was the main reason for normalizing relations with China, then we should now go back to un-normalizing our relations with them. After all, China is still the same despotic regime it was in Nixon’s day. But no reasonable person is suggesting that. Therefore I have to conclude that normalizing relations with China was and is the right thing to do for its own sake. So the question still remains: Why not normalize relations with Cuba when we have already normalized relations with nations that are just as bad or worse?


Because a normalized relationship with another government allows for the gospel message to flow easier. President Obama might not know this, but by hearing the pleas of the Pope, Christ can be further glorified in all nations. It’s irrelevant the status of a nation, free travel to and from allow Christ the migrant to enter in more easily then he has before.


I agree that this situation should be studied deeply, that we should listen to Senator Rubio.

On the other hand, with all due respect, the Government of Mexico, just our Southern neighbor, seems to be a government that is not concerned with their people.

It is somewhat the same thing with Cuba in the 1950s, the Mob appears to be heavily involved in that gambling and tourist trade that was there. Do you really want them there? Is that so much better than Communism?? Maybe it is.

But this is just like the Middle East, it is hard for us to impose our values on other people.

That said, there is little doubt that the government of Cuba is tyrannical.

Rubio was saying the government of Venezuela took a lot from Cuba, advisors etc. and now, sanctions have been levied on Venezuela for human rights violations.

Yes, we can say the USA just got in trouble for acts 11 years ago, but let’s be real, this is not the same as what goes on in some countries, just saying that preemptively.


I want to reiterate and make shorter my prior post, we all don’t have time to read everything.

There are legitimate concerns about Cuba but before Castro, the mob certainly had interests, also it appears many Cubans are freedom-loving people who fled the country so there are two sides of the story.

The government of Mexico right now and most of the time for the past decades has been rather uncaring of the nation if not tyrannical. Now, that country suffers every day.

It’s really hard to reconcile all of these things and dislike a country just because it is Communist but perhaps so, Perhaps Rubio is correct.

Somehow now, other troubled Latin American countries of the past have become successful (somewhat) members of the family of nations such as Argentina.


Cuba probably views this as a timely bailout of sorts since their revolutionary brother Venezuela (who has been helpful patrons of theirs) is about to go into default (and will be lucky to keep Citgo).

I’m not sure if there will be some further negotiations between Havana and Washington in return for loosening restrictions noted on the US Treasury site?

Frequently Asked Question in connection with the President’s announcement on changes to U.S. policy with respect to Cuba.

Q. How will OFAC implement the changes to the Cuba sanctions program announced by the President on December 17, 2014? Are the changes effective immediately?

A. OFAC will implement the Treasury-specific changes via amendments to its Cuban Assets Control Regulations. The Department of Commerce will implement the remainder of the changes via amendments to its Export Administration Regulations. OFAC expects to issue its regulatory amendments in the coming weeks. None of the announced changes takes effect until the new regulations are issued.



Once you normalize relations, it’s almost impossible to go back for a number of reasons. With such regimes one needs to be careful about doing it. It is difficult for me to believe opening trade, etc, with Cuba will have much benefit for the U.S., but it will definitely benefit the communist party in Cuba, just as American trade has benefitted the same party in China. But China is still worthy of deep suspicions and distrust, just as Cuba is.
We are paying for China’s arms buildup and its aggressions toward its neighbors in East Asia. Are we really so eager to finance Cuban mercenaries in the third world too, just as the Soviet Union did?


Yet we do it anyway. Do you wish we could break off relations with China?

As for the benefit to the U.S., that has never been a requirement for establishing relations with a nation. I think the real reason we have not established relations so far is we hate to admit that we screwed up in the Bay of Pigs. It is embarrassing. So as long as we maintain this embargo and no diplomatic relations, we can tell ourselves that the ultimate outcome of the Bay of Pigs operation is still pending. Since we never tried to take over China, we have no such embarrassment in normalizing those relations.


I take it you do not remember that the U.S. once did “take over” Cuba but set it free. The U.S. did not later decide to take it over again.

As I said, once a nation does establish diplomatic relations, it’s almost impossible to go back, so it’s really a moot issue. I will add, though, that establishing diplomatic relations and engaging in trade are not the same things.

I would certainly have hoped that the benefit to the U.S. would be a requirement for establishing relations with a nation, particularly if that nation is otherwise an announced and overt enemy of this country. I doubt the Bay of Pigs has anything to do with non-recognition and non-trade with Cuba. I doubt it ever did. Cuba was hostile to the U.S., overtly so, and a provider of radical propaganda and soldiers to revolutionary political groups likewise hostile to the U.S. and destructive to our allies. It’s a terrorist state. Trade relations can be revenue sources for such activities and usually are. Do we want to establish diplomatic relations with ISIS? Do we want to have trade with ISIS?

What is the compelling reason to improve the resources of the communist party in Cuba?

What is the compelling reason to put an embassy in Havana and have Cuba put one in DC? What is the national interest in doing that?


What national interest or benefit does retaining a decades old failed policy have for the U.S.? We imposed an embargo that no one else participated in and basically ignored Cuba for 50 years in the hope that social and political change would spontaneously occur. Its achieved exactly squat. The offer of normalizing diplomatic relations has allowed us to achieve unprecedented results in Burma/Myanmar under this President. Cuba is indicating that they may be willing to take a similar path of gradual but meaningful change. We shouldn’t ignore it and restoring diplomatic lines of communication is hardly a burdensome price to pay for the opportunity to influence the process of reforming a nation.

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