With the release of Alan Gross in exchange for three Cuban spies, President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro are set to begin normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba in a joint press conference later today.
Presumably this means the embargo will be lifted if not immediately, then incrementally. What about Helms-Burton? Or will Obama just issue another executive order?
This is being described as the fall of the Berlin Wall moment for Obama.
Well, by last count, there are 114 political prisoners in Cuba. Will they be released and free to come and go as they please? Will former Cuban political prisoners be allowed to return from exile in Spain?
And what about multi-party elections, a free press and an independent judiciary?
Yes, it is a good thing that Gross is being released although he never should have been imprisoned in the first place. Nevertheless, Pope Francis and the Catholic Church must be praised in working to secure Gross’ release, as they have with other Cuban dissidents.
But Cuba is a long way from its fall of the Berlin Wall. Cuba is a long way from being a free country. Given Obama’s numerous policy failures, this is yet another self-congratulatory exercise to bestow himself with a legacy based on the efforts of others.
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