Wednesday, December 17, 2014

U.S. Talking With Cuba!

Break the ice. In a historical move, President Barack Obama is set to announce that the United States is going to lift the ban on Cuba.

The Cold War is over. It's been announced that the United States will repair relations with Cuba.

Certainly it's going to piss off the racist right. After all, it's something that's been in the works for years. Their sworn enemy has shaken hands with Raul Castro some time ago when Nelson Mandela passed away.

This is the biggest shift of diplomacy in 50 years.

American officials say the U.S. and Cuba will start talks to normalize full diplomatic relations as part of the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades.

Officials say the U.S. is also looking to open an embassy in Havana in the coming months. The moves are part of an agreement between the U.S. and Cuba that also includes the release of American Alan Gross and three Cubans jailed in Florida for spying.
Alan Gross the American accused of spying in Cuba was released.
Gross has been released from Cuba after five years in prison, a senior Obama administration official tells the AP. The official says Gross has departed Cuba on a US government plane bound for the United States. He was released on humanitarian grounds by the Cuban government at the request of the United States, per the official. ABC News reports that his release comes as part of a "landmark humanitarian prisoner exchange" that Obama will announce today, and an overhaul in US-Cuba relations born from more than a year of "secret back-channel talks at the highest levels of both governments." Obama is set to speak at noon today, reports CNN.

The AP reports the three Cubans released in exchange for Gross are part of the so-called Cuban Five—a group of men who were part of the "Wasp Network" sent by Cuba's then-President Fidel Castro to spy in South Florida. The men, who are hailed as heroes in Cuba, were convicted in 2001 in Miami on charges including conspiracy and failure to register as foreign agents in the US. Two of the Cuban Five were previously released after finishing their sentences. Today's news comes two weeks after Gross' wife said her husband was "literally wasting away" in prison, having lost more than 100 pounds—as well as five teeth—over the years. Gross was in 2011 convicted of espionage and sentenced to 15 years for bringing telecommunications gear into Cuba while working for USAID as a subcontractor.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said the agreement includes normalizing banking and trade ties with Cuba.

There's speculation that the Florida senator is considering a run for the White House.


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