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President Obama to Visit Cuba After 50 Years of Diplomatic Wilderness

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    President Obama will be the first President to visit Cuba in more than 80 years when he steps foot on the country next month. He plans to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro and other people during his over night stay.

    It's hard to overstate how big of a deal this trip is. No American President has visited Cuba since January 1928 when President Calvin Coolidge visited the island nation. That means President Obama will be the first sitting President to visit there in 88 years. In fact, Calvin Coolidge is the only President to ever have visited Cuba. That's hard to wrap my head around considering they are a hand full of miles away from the southern tip of Florida.

    Republicans, not surprisingly, are furious. They would rather us continue to be enemies with Cuba forever. I find it interesting that they have no problem normalizing relations with Vietnam, a country that killed tens of thousands of American soldiers, but scoff at the thought of normalizing relations with Cuba, a country that hasn't killed a single one. But if there's anything I've come to accept in life, it's that the modern day Republican Party doesn't think logically about pretty much anything.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Yes that's great news. Marco Rubio, especially, will be furious. He'll go into his robotic monologue.

    Another point though regarding Vietnam. They have oil and American oil companies are there now helping to exploit their oil. To my knowledge, Cuba doesn't have many natural resources to exploit.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Yes that's great news. Marco Rubio, especially, will be furious. He'll go into his robotic monologue.

    Another point though regarding Vietnam. They have oil and American oil companies are there now helping to exploit their oil. To my knowledge, Cuba doesn't have many natural resources to exploit.

    Schmidt, Cuba can help us related to the sugar industry; right now this industry placed in the FL Everglades is polluting all our rivers, beaches and kills off all marine life. The sugar plantations were placed in FL because of our trade blockcade of import of Cuban sugar. So if we import that again and close the operation in FL, then finally we may get "nature" back as it should be. Our "evangelical" Governor (GOP) will of course object, because he got re-elected by receiving 3/4 million for his re-election campaign from the sugar industry to prevent him from giving fines for their polution. That is how it works in this country.
  • Independent
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    Vietnam? Hell, we have a massive trade deficit with the prc and these republicans seem to have little problem with that. The prc engages in cyber attacks and economic warfare against us and yet these politicians are blathering over a country that poses NO threat to us.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Rip that sugar out, or tell your Senator, Congress person, or Gov. to rip it out and stop the pollution. The last thing this country needs is more sugar. Next to the last thing we need is anymore pollution. Sure tell them (Cuba) to grow sugar. Climate is perfect. Some American will jump on the chance for local slave labor when there's a buck to be made.

    I'm glad this is being ironed out. Close by and the cigars are said to be great. I hope the fishing is good as well. That could be a fun weekend.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    TJ Wrote:

    Rip that sugar out, or tell your Senator, Congress person, or Gov. to rip it out and stop the pollution. The last thing this country needs is more sugar. Next to the last thing we need is anymore pollution. Sure tell them (Cuba) to grow sugar. Climate is perfect. Some American will jump on the chance for local slave labor when there's a buck to be made.

    I'm glad this is being ironed out. Close by and the cigars are said to be great. I hope the fishing is good as well. That could be a fun weekend.

    Tony you are the first person who sees it right. Thanks you are great.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Watching President Obama's historic trip to Cuba on TV, it should be noted that accompanying Obama on the trip is a contingent of business leaders. However, it is hard to see much progress on American businesses in Cuba until the Republicans relent and lift the embargo. And Republicans won't allow the embargo to be lifted until "democracy" is restored...or so they say. Raul Castro, on the other hand, has said normal relations cannot be restored until both the economic embargo is lifted and the Guantanamo Bay naval base is returned to Cuba.

    Obviously there is much work to be done, but I don't see much progress until after our presidential election. Republicans could feel pressure from American businesses, but don't want to "give credit" to Obama for anything. And that is probably what ultimately drives all the Republican thinking...not helping Obama to succeed at anything...spite.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: Watching President Obama's historic trip to Cuba on TV, it should be noted that accompanying Obama on the trip is a contingent of business leaders. However, it is hard to see much progress on American businesses in Cuba until the Republicans relent and lift the embargo. And Republicans won't allow the embargo to be lifted until "democracy" is restored...or so they say. Raul Castro, on the other hand, has said normal relations cannot be restored until both the economic embargo is lifted and the Guantanamo Bay naval base is returned to Cuba.

    It was so awesome watching President Obama step foot on Cuba after such a long diplomatic wilderness. It was one of my top five moments of his Presidency.

    Sure, the old guard wants to keep a perpetual embargo, but a younger generation who is finally ready to move on from the Cold War may force the Republicans hands. Once more and more people start traveling to Cuba the harder it's going to be for Republicans to stop the inevitable from happening.

    I see some real negotiations on the horizon. I think closing the naval base is a nom starter politically speaking. We've had that base for over one hundred years and I just don't see us walking away from it anytime soon. The prison is a separate issue than the base itself, in my opinion and I hope that the prison on the base doesn't become a sticking point in negotiations.

    So hopefully President Obama or Hillary Clinton (because Trump will never be elected) will be able to keep moving the ball forward. My guess is that it will take awhile, but we will fully normalize relations with Cuba without forcing them to become a democracy, keep the Naval base, and allow all businesses to operate in Cuba just like we do in countless other Communist countries.

    Schmidt Wrote: Obviously there is much work to be done, but I don't see much progress until after our presidential election. Republicans could feel pressure from American businesses, but don't want to "give credit" to Obama for anything. And that is probably what ultimately drives all the Republican thinking...not helping Obama to succeed at anything...spite.

    I agree one hundred percent.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I just watched the press conference. Raul Castro was obviously uncomfortable in taking questions and was on the defensive about human rights, turning the table back to the United States and our record on human rights...examples health care and education. Yes Castro is the "old guard" and has difficulty changing outside of his long entrenched worldviews. It will be for the younger generation of Cubans to keep pushing for small incremental changes over time.