President Obama "Normalizes" Relations With Cuba, Opens Diplomatic Channels; USAID Chief Resigns - Live Feed

Tyler Durden's picture

Odd... during a week when President Obama prepares to launch new sanctions against Venezuela and Russia, The White House admits, “It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba."

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba were severed in January 1961 after the rise of Fidel Castro and his Communist government. Mr. Obama has instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately initiate discussions with Cuba about reestablishing diplomatic relations and to begin the process of removing Cuba from the list of states that sponsor terrorism, which it has been on since 1982, the White House said.

President Obama will speak on the matter at 12:01ET....

The Good news...

 

Here's The President in 2010... Statement by the President on the Human Rights Situation in Cuba

Recent events in Cuba, including the tragic death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, the repression visited upon Las Damas de Blanco, and the intensified harassment of those who dare to give voice to the desires of their fellow Cubans, are deeply disturbing.

 

These events underscore that instead of embracing an opportunity to enter a new era, Cuban authorities continue to respond to the aspirations of the Cuban people with a clenched fist.

 

Today, I join my voice with brave individuals across Cuba and a growing chorus around the world in calling for an end to the repression, for the immediate, unconditional release of all political prisoners in Cuba, and for respect for the basic rights of the Cuban people.

 

During the course of the past year, I have taken steps to reach out to the Cuban people and to signal my desire to seek a new era in relations between the governments of the United States and Cuba.  I remain committed to supporting the simple desire of the Cuban people to freely determine their future and to enjoy the rights and freedoms that define the Americas, and that should be universal to all human beings.

*  *  *

And today, as Bloomberg reports,

White House says measures will “end our outdated approach,” promote change in Cuba consistent “with U.S. national security interests”

 

In coming mos., U.S. “will re-establish an embassy in Havana and carry out high-level exchanges and visits between our two governments as part of the normalization process”

 

Initial step will involve U.S.-Cuba Migration Talks in Jan.

 

U.S. institutions will be allowed to open accounts at Cuban financial institutions for authorized transactions; U.S. credit, debit cards permitted for use by travelers to Cuba

 

Travelers can import $400 of goods from Cuba, no more than $100 of tobacco, alcohol combined

 

White House moving to expand exports of U.S. goods, services incl. building materials, agricultural equipment, communications devices

 

Lifts sanctions on Cuban nationals outside Cuba

 

Changes announced will be implemented via amendments to U.S. Treasury, Commerce Dept regulations

*  *  *

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez is not happy...

"This is a moment of profound relief for Alan Gross and his family. Mr. Gross' physical and mental health has declined severely as a result of his five-year imprisonment under difficult conditions.  He should have been released immediately and unconditionally five years ago.  He committed no crime and was simply working to provide internet access to Cuba's small Jewish community.  His imprisonment was cruel and arbitrary, but consistent with the behavior of the Cuban regime.

 

“Let's be clear, this was not a "humanitarian" act by the Castro regime. It was a swap of convicted spies for an innocent American.

 

“President Obama's actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government. There is no equivalence between an international aid worker and convicted spies who were found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage against our nation. One spy was also convicted of conspiracy to murder for his role in the 1996 tragedy in which the Cuban military shot down two U.S. civilian planes, killing several American citizens. My heart goes out to the American families that lost love ones on that fateful day.

 

“Trading Mr. Gross for three convicted criminals sets an extremely dangerous precedent.  It invites dictatorial and rogue regimes to use Americans serving overseas as bargaining chips.  I fear that today’s actions will put at risk the thousands of Americans that work overseas to support civil society, advocate for access to information, provide humanitarian services, and promote democratic reforms.

 

“This asymmetrical trade will invite further belligerence toward Cuba's opposition movement and the hardening of the government’s dictatorial hold on its people. Let us all remind ourselves that an untold number of ordinary people yearning for democracy remain imprisoned by the exact same tormentors that have punished Alan Gross and they, along with all Cubans, deserve a free and liberated Cuba."

*  *  *

And then there is this...

Rajiv Shah, the administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, abruptly resigned on Wednesday after US and Cuba announced plans to normalize relations and exchange prisoners.

 

USAID oversaw secret US programs aimed at regime change in Cuba.

 

 

U.S. Government Caught Using Humanitarian HIV Program As Front To Foster Cuban Dissent

 

Conspiracy Fact: How The U.S. Government Covertly Invented A "Cuban Twitter" To Create Revolution

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LawsofPhysics's picture

LMFAO!!!  Russia is "bad", but Cuba is "good".

Okay fucker, just annex Cuba already.  My guess is that America's political puppets have already bought their beach-front property.

Crony/corporate/fascism on a global scale!!!  "winning"

GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Russia is "bad", but Cuba is "good".

 

You got it!

 

Next question?

SWRichmond's picture

Deos this mean we're about to lose Turkey?  Are we replaying Monroe Doctrine?

AmericasCicero's picture

Trading vassal states is such tricky business

DeadFred's picture

Buy beach front property now

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

USAID

LOL... I still can't get over that name. We come to aid in the overthrow of your country.

Headbanger's picture

YEAH BABY!

CUBAN CIGARS ARE BACK!

imaginalis's picture

Who cares about cigars. When can we buy Havana Club?

jbvtme's picture

i travelled to viet nam on a business trip in 1995. moments before the capitalists littered the sky with tall buildings and turned the rice paddies into golf courses. if there are cubans out there listening. close the doors to the infidels and preserve your culture.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Dream on.  The deals are already made.  The serfs will be serving their new masters by New Years.

Looney's picture

Internet my ass…

The only reason the sanctions on Cuba are being lifted is because of Putin’s trip to Cuba a few months ago.

We, the US, don’t want Russian nukes in Cuba in return for the NATO encroaching on Russia.

BTW, Russia recently forgave 95% of the Cuban debt - $32 Billion.  ;-)

Looney

ParkAveFlasher's picture

We Johnny Ola'd some folks.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Turkey and Russia allied will dominate central Eurasia, and the eastern Mediterranean (at the least).

El Vaquero's picture

Ok, ok, ok, on a fundamental level, having peaceful relations with Cuba should be an inherently good thing, even if Cuba does have a fucked up super-statist government.  I mean, the Cuban missile crisis is ancient history and they pose no legitimate threat to us.  (We're a bigger threat to ourselves right now.) 

 

So, how is Obama going to fuck this up?  The man is a master of taking something that should be good and turning it bad. 

A Nanny Moose's picture

Isn't Cuba one of the last remaining countries without a Central Bank?

Expanding the Franchise to export inflation. Perhaps that is all that matters?

Cheduba's picture

Need...more...tax...slaves...

_SILENCER's picture

close the doors to the infidels and preserve your culture.

 

Fair enough. But allow JR or some other retailer acces to the stogies.

Whalley World's picture

Havana Club is crap compared to Santiago Del Cuba rum
The original Bacardi
Smooth as it gets

max2205's picture

Who needs Cuba....we have Miami

Ying-Yang's picture

Bullish for classic cars!

NoDecaf's picture

Geopolitical volatility, just like the markets. If there were any doubts before about this being the end game, I think we can all agree now that it is here.

XitSam's picture

Nope. What do you think subsidies are for?

Frankie Carbone's picture

Where else can you get a mint condition 52' Chevy for $70?

aVileRat's picture

I'm personally eager for the return of Miami Vice

 

Titus's picture

Anyone else think that this is being done to prevent Russia from realigning and moving miliatry equipment to Cuba? Like right off US waters just like the US/NATO is currently doing to Russia in Ukraine?

 

Fun Facts's picture

Absolutely and good observation.

For those who disagree, ask yourself...why now? Nothing has changed in Cuba. The only thing that has changed is the geopolitical calculus regarding Russia.

So the ZWO hauls out their teleprompter reader in chief to pre emptively prevent a cuban missile crisis redux.

He'd rather be playing golf I'm sure and does whatever the hell they tell him to do.

I'm sure the attached provisions for normalizing relations include no Russian missiles.

blaireauhedge's picture
blaireauhedge (not verified) Fun Facts Dec 17, 2014 12:05 PM

That's exactly what it is. I CANNOT believe the Cubans fell for it.

BigJim's picture

The 'Cubans' will obviously be better off for it. The rest of the planet? Not so much...

Chupacabra-322's picture

Speak for yourself. I'm a fourth generation American born son of Cuban Parents.

The Murder, Rape & Pillage of today you see in Iraq, Syria, Lybia, Ukraine, South & Central America in the late 60's & 70's happening again now in Cuba can be directly attributed the the exact same Psychopathic Pure Evil doers Globalist at the Criminal Fraund UNITED STATES, CORP. INC State Dept. & CIA who put Castro in power to begin with.

Feeble attempt at retribution at Putin.

aVileRat's picture

Cuba was heavily dependant on Venez. cheap oil, and finished good imports. Since Cuba's fx reserves are pretty much 80% bolivar, ruble & euros, with a smidge of gold I would have expected the Castro's know that.

So if Cuba does align with us, then it's a stimulus for energy as I would expect Cuba will start importing the petro-products and refined which they will lose access to in a Venez. regieme change. Likewise, the Cuban migration/industrialization will be a tailwind for all those industry consultants which are locked out of Russia now. I can see many of them like GE rolling over their old 1950 complaints/claims for access to the industrialization contracts, much like how they did with Saudi's nationalization of the ARM fields.

 

gotgold's picture

regional reorientation.. u.s. , mexico, canada is pretty formidible when you consider all of the assets. cuba does have good cigars, beachfront properties, and some other "ass"ets that are interesting to investors... new days coming, new alignments

Bowl In A China Cabinet's picture

The U.S. will do whatever it can to spite Russia. 

Automatic Choke's picture

going long cuban golf course developers.....

NoDebt's picture

Oh, absolutely it did.  Much more to do with keeping Russia out than it did with this phoney-baloney "prisoner exchange".

Still, that doesn't mean it's a bad thing to do.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

If it was anybody but Obozo I'd say the CIA was getting ready to implode the Cuban government but in this case I expect to see boatloads of new Democrat voters....

El Vaquero's picture

It could be a good thing to do, but we'll fuck it up somehow if we are given enough time.  This is the US government we're talking about here. 

Titus's picture

Yep. Guess their list would no longer fit on the whiteboard of countries the western banking cartel needs to destroy, so they had to knock one off.

Sex tourism anyone? Hooker prices in Cuba are about to skyrocket. Shame...

Fun Facts's picture

Then there's also the angle that maybe Michael smokes cuban cigars and asked Barry to make the move on Cuba.

NoDebt's picture

Did we just do something right here?  

This is way too rational an approach for us.  Are we sure we wouldn't prefer to carpet-bomb Cuba for a couple weeks before we "normalize" relations?

 

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

It's Obama, so of course it isn't right. Continuing sanctions against Cuba is probably pointless, but linking the end of sanctions to the release of a prisoner is worse than fucking retarded, it's dangerous.

drendebe10's picture

....similar to its releasing the 5 known terrorists for basically nothing in return...  another great move by the incompetent, divisive, corrupt arrogant narcissistic illegal indonesian kenyan alien sociopathic pathological liar in chief fudge pacerk...

TheGreatRecovery's picture

5 spies, not 5 terrorists.  They were locked up for spying.  If my big sister spies on me, that doesn't terrorize me.  If she kicks me hard in the shin, that terrorizes me.

El Vaquero's picture

Either the US crashes soon, or you'll find that we fuck it up somehow.