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Normalizing relations with Cuba

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Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by AWS260 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:37 pm

It's happening, apparently.
The Associated Press wrote:The United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday.

The announcement came amid a series of sudden confidence-building measures between the longtime foes, including the release of American prisoner Alan Gross, as well as a swap for a U.S. intelligence asset held in Cuba and the freeing of three Cubans jailed in the U.S.

President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro were to separately address their nations around noon Wednesday. The two leaders spoke by phone for more than 45 minutes Tuesday, the first substantive presidential-level discussion between the U.S. and Cuba since 1961.

Wednesday's announcements followed more than a year of secret talks between U.S. and Cuban officials in Canada and the Vatican. U.S. officials said Pope Francis was personally engaged in the process and sent separate letters to Obama and Castro this summer urging them to restart relations.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:44 pm

Just think of all those 1950s cars that can be repatriated. Time to either sell yours or invest in a recovery project. I'm sure Dana Mecum is salivating.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by stessier » Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:50 pm

Seems like this is quite a bit over due.
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Scraper » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:33 pm

And as per usual the Republicans are in an uproar about this move. Foxnews.com currently has a picture of old Castro with the headline "They WIn?" Predictable and yet sad since the Fox audience will step right in line with the message they want sent. I.E. nothing Obama does is good.
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Jeff V » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:40 pm

Finally, I can get a decent cigar.

Now if only I still smoked...

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:59 pm

Scraper wrote:And as per usual the Republicans are in an uproar about this move. Foxnews.com currently has a picture of old Castro with the headline "They WIn?" Predictable and yet sad since the Fox audience will step right in line with the message they want sent. I.E. nothing Obama does is good.
I wonder what a US win would be if not normalized relations that lead to massive commercial opportunities for US businesses. Eternal sanctions? Nuking them?


Why is Il Papa so involved, BTW? Is some Da Cinci Code shit going down up in there?
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Rip » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:05 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Scraper wrote:And as per usual the Republicans are in an uproar about this move. Foxnews.com currently has a picture of old Castro with the headline "They WIn?" Predictable and yet sad since the Fox audience will step right in line with the message they want sent. I.E. nothing Obama does is good.
I wonder what a US win would be if not normalized relations that lead to massive commercial opportunities for US businesses. Eternal sanctions? Nuking them?


Why is Il Papa so involved, BTW? Is some Da Cinci Code shit going down up in there?
Cuba having a representative government, maybe?

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Scraper » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:17 pm

Rip wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:
Scraper wrote:And as per usual the Republicans are in an uproar about this move. Foxnews.com currently has a picture of old Castro with the headline "They WIn?" Predictable and yet sad since the Fox audience will step right in line with the message they want sent. I.E. nothing Obama does is good.
I wonder what a US win would be if not normalized relations that lead to massive commercial opportunities for US businesses. Eternal sanctions? Nuking them?


Why is Il Papa so involved, BTW? Is some Da Cinci Code shit going down up in there?
Cuba having a representative government, maybe?
That's a BS reason for sanctions. In the 50s we didn't want a communist Cuba because we didn't want Russian missiles in Cuba. Now Russia has no need to put missiles in Cuba. So what difference does it make if Cuba is Socialist, Communist, or Capitalist so long as they aren't a military threat to the US? (Which they aren't). It has nothing to do with a representative government for the Cuban people.
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:17 pm

Rip wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:
Scraper wrote:And as per usual the Republicans are in an uproar about this move. Foxnews.com currently has a picture of old Castro with the headline "They WIn?" Predictable and yet sad since the Fox audience will step right in line with the message they want sent. I.E. nothing Obama does is good.
I wonder what a US win would be if not normalized relations that lead to massive commercial opportunities for US businesses. Eternal sanctions? Nuking them?


Why is Il Papa so involved, BTW? Is some Da Cinci Code shit going down up in there?
Cuba having a representative government, maybe?
Like our 10th largest trade partner? Or our 2nd?
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Smoove_B » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:22 pm

Scraper wrote: Now Russia has no need to put missiles in Cuba.
They might if the price of gas continues to decrease. As the Ruble implodes and they want access to our mother-fracking rigs in North Dakota, they might try anything. :ninja:

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Scraper » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:27 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Scraper wrote: Now Russia has no need to put missiles in Cuba.
They might if the price of gas continues to decrease. As the Ruble implodes and they want access to our mother-fracking rigs in North Dakota, they might try anything. :ninja:
Technology has made Cuba's location irrelevant to Russia. After all Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house and I'm pretty sure their missiles can fire farther than Sarah Palin can see.
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:34 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Scraper wrote: Now Russia has no need to put missiles in Cuba.
They might if the price of gas continues to decrease. As the Ruble implodes and they want access to our mother-fracking rigs in North Dakota, they might try anything. :ninja:
It seems a bit ironic to use nuclear power to go to war for fossil fuel.
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by LordMortis » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:36 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Scraper wrote: Now Russia has no need to put missiles in Cuba.
They might if the price of gas continues to decrease. As the Ruble implodes and they want access to our mother-fracking rigs in North Dakota, they might try anything. :ninja:
Wolverines!!!!

Oh, wait. North Dakota? Meh.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Holman » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:53 pm

This post-Cold-War point is that it clears the way for Cuba to become our client (again). They're basically going to be Florida's ex-East Germany.
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by RunningMn9 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:54 pm

What is the desired end game for Republicans with respect to Cuba? The problem with policies that have been in place for five decades is that the people in charge of enforcing the policy for most of those decades have nothing to do with the original reasons (and in some cases don't have any idea what they were in the first place). Why are we doing it? What US interest is achieved by continuing to punish them?
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:04 pm

Scraper wrote:
Rip wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:
Scraper wrote:And as per usual the Republicans are in an uproar about this move. Foxnews.com currently has a picture of old Castro with the headline "They WIn?" Predictable and yet sad since the Fox audience will step right in line with the message they want sent. I.E. nothing Obama does is good.
I wonder what a US win would be if not normalized relations that lead to massive commercial opportunities for US businesses. Eternal sanctions? Nuking them?


Why is Il Papa so involved, BTW? Is some Da Cinci Code shit going down up in there?
Cuba having a representative government, maybe?
That's a BS reason for sanctions. In the 50s we didn't want a communist Cuba because we didn't want Russian missiles in Cuba. Now Russia has no need to put missiles in Cuba. So what difference does it make if Cuba is Socialist, Communist, or Capitalist so long as they aren't a military threat to the US? (Which they aren't). It has nothing to do with a representative government for the Cuban people.
They could be fascist anarchists, it still doesn't change the fact that I don't own a car.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by LordMortis » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:08 pm

RunningMn9 wrote: What US interest is achieved by continuing to punish them?
Continued status in having and smoking Cuban Cigars? Unless you a half an hour from Canada...

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Rip » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:11 pm

Scraper wrote:
Rip wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:
Scraper wrote:And as per usual the Republicans are in an uproar about this move. Foxnews.com currently has a picture of old Castro with the headline "They WIn?" Predictable and yet sad since the Fox audience will step right in line with the message they want sent. I.E. nothing Obama does is good.
I wonder what a US win would be if not normalized relations that lead to massive commercial opportunities for US businesses. Eternal sanctions? Nuking them?


Why is Il Papa so involved, BTW? Is some Da Cinci Code shit going down up in there?
Cuba having a representative government, maybe?
That's a BS reason for sanctions. In the 50s we didn't want a communist Cuba because we didn't want Russian missiles in Cuba. Now Russia has no need to put missiles in Cuba. So what difference does it make if Cuba is Socialist, Communist, or Capitalist so long as they aren't a military threat to the US? (Which they aren't). It has nothing to do with a representative government for the Cuban people.
Shipping arms to NK? Executing and imprisoning people who dare seek freedom? Have we forgotten the plane full of civilians they shot down?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Cuba

I thought we had given up the policy of befriending tyrannical dictatorships where human rights are abused regularly?

Sounds to me like it is just Obama pushing another reset button, because it has worked out so well for him(us) previously.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:20 pm

:pop:

This is probably an ill-advised time for the US to be playing the holier than thou card. Especially when looking at past wrongdoing versus more recent history.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:23 pm

Rip wrote: Shipping arms to NK? Executing and imprisoning people who dare seek freedom? Have we forgotten the plane full of civilians they shot down?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Cuba

I thought we had given up the policy of befriending tyrannical dictatorships where human rights are abused regularly?

Sounds to me like it is just Obama pushing another reset button, because it has worked out so well for him(us) previously.
What makes Cuba different from Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, or countless other nations that we do business with despite their poor human rights records and/or lack of a "representative government?"

Or is Cuba a special case because it's the one Obama happens to be opening relations with?
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:24 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Rip wrote: Shipping arms to NK? Executing and imprisoning people who dare seek freedom? Have we forgotten the plane full of civilians they shot down?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Cuba

I thought we had given up the policy of befriending tyrannical dictatorships where human rights are abused regularly?

Sounds to me like it is just Obama pushing another reset button, because it has worked out so well for him(us) previously.
What makes Cuba different from Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, or countless other nations that we do business with despite their poor human rights records and/or lack of a "representative government?"

Or is Cuba a special case because it's the one Obama happens to be opening relations with?

Russia just shot down a jetliner full of civilians, as a nice parallel.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:35 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:
Rip wrote: Shipping arms to NK? Executing and imprisoning people who dare seek freedom? Have we forgotten the plane full of civilians they shot down?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Cuba

I thought we had given up the policy of befriending tyrannical dictatorships where human rights are abused regularly?

Sounds to me like it is just Obama pushing another reset button, because it has worked out so well for him(us) previously.
What makes Cuba different from Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, or countless other nations that we do business with despite their poor human rights records and/or lack of a "representative government?"

Or is Cuba a special case because it's the one Obama happens to be opening relations with?

Russia just shot down a jetliner full of civilians, as a nice parallel.
Yeah, I didn't even want to get into that but 455 was in 1970 and MH17 was this freaking year. We have sanctioned Russia a bit but we still have relations with them and we're still happy to sell to them.

We have a cold-war era policy in place with Cuba despite the end of the cold war. It's a curiosity more than a proper policy.
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:39 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:Yeah, I didn't even want to get into that but 455 was in 1970 and MH17 was this freaking year. We have sanctioned Russia a bit but we still have relations with them and we're still happy to sell to them.

We have a cold-war era policy in place with Cuba despite the end of the cold war. It's a curiosity more than a proper policy.
Oh I know, I was just throwing that in because Rip made such a big deal (it was, no question, but that was almost 50 years ago) of Cuba's downing.

I hear Germany did some pretty awful things too. Why are you so cozy with those hate mongers?

Listen, I don't actually want to make light of Cuba's problems, especially their human rights issues, but the idea that they are especially deserving to be punished in this day and age over the many other countries the US has economic ties to is a bit silly.

China isn't exactly a shining beacon, yet every house in the US will be filled with products made in china in just a few days.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Rip » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:41 pm

Nearly impossible not to have relations with countries that you have critical national security interests in maintaining diplomatic relations with. Russia (Nuc weapons nations), China (same), Saud (Crapload of oil).

In the end I don't have a problem with the move EXCEPT he got absolutely nothing for it. Too bad he wasn't such a terrible negotiator when it comes to domestic politics. :horse:

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:50 pm

Rip wrote: In the end I don't have a problem with the move EXCEPT he got absolutely nothing for it. Too bad he wasn't such a terrible negotiator when it comes to domestic politics. :horse:
What else is he supposed to get? Castro to renounce Communism? An outfielder for the Nationals? A husband for his daughters?

It's a huge market that will open up to the US and it's in our back yard. That's a pretty good get. Cuba doesn't have a whole lot more to offer, even if it needed to.
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Alefroth » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:07 pm

Rip wrote: In the end I don't have a problem with the move EXCEPT he got absolutely nothing for it.
I'm sure Alan Gross' family would disagree with you. I disagree with you.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Holman » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:25 pm

Rip wrote: In the end I don't have a problem with the move EXCEPT he got absolutely nothing for it. Too bad he wasn't such a terrible negotiator when it comes to domestic politics. :horse:
He opened a market. Why do you hate capitalism?
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by RunningMn9 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:35 pm

If Cuba doesn't have much to offer, how are they a huge market?

Rip - what's the end game? Whatever it is, has five decades of what we have been doing worked?
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:49 pm

RunningMn9 wrote:If Cuba doesn't have much to offer, how are they a huge market?
Read the whole thing.
LawBeefaroni wrote:It's a huge market that will open up to the US and it's in our back yard. That's a pretty good get. Cuba doesn't have a whole lot more to offer [than their huge consumer market].
Meaning they're not going to give us a strategic port or air base. They're not going to open up flows of oil that we need (though supposedly they have some untapped reserves in the North Basin). They're not going to provide us with a necessary ally in a mostly hostile region.

They offer the world tourism, tobacco, sugar, coffee, and rum. They can take the money the make from those things and buy our things.
Last edited by LawBeefaroni on Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Smoove_B » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:49 pm

RunningMn9 wrote:What's the end game?
Can't you see it? Obama did this the day after Jeb Bush announced he might consider a 2016 Presidential bid. But now Florida's Cuban exiles are in the pocket of the Democrats. With open borders, they'll start bringing family members over and signing up for Obamacare and voter ID cards. President Obama is trying to create an Oligarhy!

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Carpet_pissr » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:59 pm

RunningMn9 wrote:What is the desired end game for Republicans with respect to Cuba? The problem with policies that have been in place for five decades is that the people in charge of enforcing the policy for most of those decades have nothing to do with the original reasons (and in some cases don't have any idea what they were in the first place). Why are we doing it? What US interest is achieved by continuing to punish them?
You don't need a whole lot more for many Conservatives than "this is how we've done it for the past 50 years, therefore we should continue doing it, and who is King Obama to try and change things when they've worked so well so far?!"
You may be over-thinking, and that there actually IS an endgame in mind. Maintain that status quo, baby.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by RunningMn9 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:10 pm

LawBeef...my question was on defining them as a "huge" market. What are we basing that on, that the Cuban market is "huge"?
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Rip » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:12 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
RunningMn9 wrote:What's the end game?
Can't you see it? Obama did this the day after Jeb Bush announced he might consider a 2016 Presidential bid. But now Florida's Cuban exiles are in the pocket of the Democrats. With open borders, they'll start bringing family members over and signing up for Obamacare and voter ID cards. President Obama is trying to create an Oligarhy!

Yea, right. You should go walk around Little Havana with a sign that says that.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Smoove_B » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:25 pm

Rip wrote:Yea, right. You should go walk around Little Havana with a sign that says that.
USA Today (Mouthpiece of the Obama Administration) suggests reactions are mixed in Little Havana:
Ric Herrero, executive director of #CubaNow, a group that supports normalizing relations with Cuba, said in a written statement. "The changes ... will make it easier to support the Cuban people as they take ownership of their destiny and craft a more democratic and independent future for themselves.

He singled out Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for their opposition to opening relations with Cuba on the basis of not engaging with repressive regimes, pointing out that Rubio's staff and Menendez have traveled and met with officials in China, which also has been criticized for human rights abuses.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:25 pm

RunningMn9 wrote:LawBeef...my question was on defining them as a "huge" market. What are we basing that on, that the Cuban market is "huge"?
CIA Factbook
Imports: $13.6 billion (2013 est.)

Imports - commodities: petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals

Imports - partners: Venezuela 38.3%, China 10.8%, Spain 8.9%, Brazil 5.2%, US 4.3% (2012)

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:33 pm

edit: Too slow.
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by em2nought » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:34 pm

I really need to improve my Spanish speaking skills. So how much are hookers in Cuba? :mrgreen:
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Holman » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:37 pm

They're not "huge" relative to other trading partners, but they're a market, and they're in our backyard. Surprisingly, Cuba has a well educated population--their literacy ranks second in Latin America, and even professional training is not uncommon. In this they're more "East Germany" than "Haiti." With some massage, they'll develop a healthy craving for our stuff.

Openness goes two ways, and in fact it favors our way. The reactionary reaction is that Obama just "gave" something to evil dictators, but the practical effect will be that we come to influence them more than we have in half a century. They'll now be open to the power of the dollar. (Their other option was to go Full China, by the way, and it's good that we head that off.)

This seems like good news to me.
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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:44 pm

Has no one ever played Tropico? It's pretty much a simulator for this sort of thing.

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Re: Normalizing relations with Cuba

Post by Rip » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:15 pm

em2nought wrote:I really need to improve my Spanish speaking skills. So how much are hookers in Cuba? :mrgreen:

A helluva lot more than they were yesterday.

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