Saturday, July 25, 2015

213.1 - Good News: US and Cuba resume diplomatic relations

Good News: US and Cuba resume diplomatic relations

Well, I managed to find one bit of good news this week.

On July 20, the Cuban flag was hoisted in front of a building in Washington, DC, symbolically marking that site's shift from the limited role of "interest section" to that of full-fledged embassy.

Just hours before, at the stroke of midnight, the US and Cuba resumed full diplomatic relations for the first time in over 50 years and each nation's interest section almost immediately changed their identification to "Embassy." Fittingly for the times, the Cubans made the switch on Twitter and the US on its Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The United States and Cuba severed diplomatic relations in January 1961, so it has been 54 years since there were normal diplomatic contacts between the two nations, but the two have been inching toward renewed relations for the past six years.

This is intended to be the start of a new,  post-Cold War era in relations between the two nations, even as serious differences and sources of conflict remain, although, happily, at least some of them are technical and legalistic rather than ideological - with conflicts in the latter category presenting the biggest obstacle to further improvements in relations.

The bottom line here is that US policy toward Cuba has been stupid and pointless and it was long past time to get beyond the rigid mental straightjackets of the past decades. So this reestablishing of embassies, yes, that is good news.

Damn, I have to say congratulations to Barack Obama two weeks in a row. The stars truly must be in some odd alignment.

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