Can’t say this was on anyone’s near term radar.

The NY Times reports U.S. and Cuba, in Breakthough, Resume Diplomatic Relations:

The United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century after the release of an American contractor held in prison for five years, American officials said Wednesday.

In a deal negotiated during 18 months of secret talks hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis, who hosted a final meeting at the Vatican, President Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba agreed in a telephone call to put aside decades of hostility to find a new relationship between the United States and the island nation just 90 minutes off the American coast.

The contractor, Alan Gross, boarded an American government plane bound for the United States on Wednesday morning, and the United States sent back three Cuban spies who have been in an American prison since 1981. American officials said the Cuban spies were swapped for a United States intelligence agent who has been in a Cuban prison for nearly 20 years and said Mr. Gross was not technically part of the swap but released separately on “humanitarian grounds.”

Obama Cuba Announcement

Reaction has been fast and mostly furious, even from those relieved that hostage Alan Gross was released:

(h/t Twitchy for above video)

Marco Rubio New Conference Cuba Normalization

This is a good question:


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