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December Surprise: Obama normalizes relations with Cuba

December Surprise: Obama normalizes relations with Cuba

Just as Congress left town, and everyone is focused on Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

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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Comments

Obama normalizes communism.

    LukeHandCool in reply to Sanddog. | December 17, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Well, Sanddog, time will tell if this diplomatic move is a success or failure.

    From The Mainstream Press Stylebook, 2008-2016 edition:

    DEFINITIONS:

    1) DIPLOMACY: managing international relations.

    2) SMART DIPLOMACY SUCCESS: the Obama administrations’ smart managing of international relations.

    3) SMART DIPLOMACY FAILURE: local news story.

      Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to LukeHandCool. | December 17, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      NEWS OF THE FUTURE: December 24, 2014:

      NEWS FLASH: Rig media announced today that Obama is “normalizing” relations with Saint Nick at the North Pole through a delegation of ISIS.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Sanddog. | December 17, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    BIG YAWN!

    This signifies nothing.

    It is an irrelevant act of an irrelevant man,
    covered by an irrelevant “media.”

    jayjerome66 in reply to Sanddog. | December 18, 2014 at 12:50 am

    “Obama normalizes communism.”

    Communism was normalized decades ago, by every American consumer and corporation and business that buys imported goods from China. Communist China subsidizes the US economy; why therefore should communist Cuba be shunned?

    Look at the bright side. Communist Cuba will stocking Major League Baseball rosters for the next decade or two. And Cuban cigars will come down in price. And in the blink of an eye, McDonalds will be selling El Grande Macs with side orders of plantains in Havana, and not just at the US Navel Base at Guantánamo Bay.

Wow!
Is this serious?
Are you sure it’s not some sort of hoax?

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Exiliado. | December 17, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    That must be what all the Hispanic Democrats are asking themselves Exiliado.

    Why does Obama hate the Hispanic Democrat voters so much.
    He seems committed on driving all Hispanic Democrats out of the party.

    If there is one thing they hate above all else it is Communist Cuba and Fidel. That goes for much of the Latin American population in Central and South America as well. They hate Fidel and Communism.

What’s next? A presidential memoranda forcing MLB to put Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame? Just because warm fuzzies might ensue?

Another big FLUCK YOU, America.

He’s just trolling us now.

    Exiliado in reply to Ragspierre. | December 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I think he is getting worried about his legacy.
    So far he has f…ed up big time in everything he has done.

    His baby obamacare turned out to be a stinking mountain of dung.
    His international policies have failed miserably.
    The economy sucks, in spite of all the lies in the media.

    We can expect bold and bolder (dumb and dumber) moves as the sand in his clock runs out. Make no mistake, Havana is going to screw him(US) big time.

      9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Exiliado. | December 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      I don’t think he’s worried about his legacy. This is his legacy…the next two years are going to be a very bumpy ride. He has nothing to stop him now.

      NeoConScum in reply to Exiliado. | December 17, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      “..his Legacy..” ROTF-ingFLMF-ingAO..!!!!!

      Abandonment of Vast the Victory bequeathed to him(Iraq); Flaunting of Weakness in a Hugely Dangerous Time; Undercutting and Sabotaging our Warriors; Lying compulsively to America; Endlessly attending Fund Raisers and nearly never attending to presidential business; ETC, ETC, ETC, ETC.

      Legacy my white azz.

        Exiliado in reply to NeoConScum. | December 17, 2014 at 10:00 pm

        Exactly.
        That’s why I said “So far he has f…ed up big time in everything he has done.”

        In his delirious mind he thinks changing the stance towards Cuba is going to earn him positive points.
        He’s in a hole and he keeps a-digging.

      Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Exiliado. | December 17, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      Yeah, Exiliado.

      Next week Obama plans on “normalizing” relations with Saint Nick and the North Pole by sending a delegation of ISIS.

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/12/17/obama-overturns-ban-preventing-criminal-ecuadorean-democratic-donor-from-entering-u-s/

    Well-hell-hell… THAT could provide a hint. The Castro brothers are worth several billion in potential Deemocrat mordida.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Ragspierre. | December 17, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Except he forgets “We Don’t Care.”

    So it is a big Double Sandra Fluke Back on You Little Zero.

Subotai Bahadur | December 17, 2014 at 11:59 am

Next up: A massive foreign aid package, with a lump sum bonus to make up for the period from the break in relations to date. The appropriations bill will be sponsored by John Boehner.

I am beginning to think Henry was right.

    Everything is already funded in Cromnibus. Just another way to show the Republican Leadership up for the fools that they are.

      Valerie in reply to davod. | December 17, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      There are all kinds of things that can be paid for with a budget that size, including things that nobody thought of, when it was passed.

buckeyeminuteman | December 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

The unprecedented invasion of undocumented Democrats on Florida’s southern shores has just commenced.

What exactly does the US get out of this deal besides the release of Alan Gross (an innocent tourist) and not having to pay the upkeep of convicted criminal murderers in US prisons?

what a farce!

Imagine: this is a priority to our freak president.

Now that communism has been ‘normalized’ (it didn’t fly back in 2008 with communist Van Jones and Maoist Anita Dunn were discovered in Obama’s administration) imagine what else this lunatic and Valerie Jarrett have planned over the next two years. (And with Boehner as GOP Squeaker and McTurtle heading the GOP senate, and with Pee Wee Prebus likely to be re-elected as GOP Chairgirl.)

We are going to witness things in the coming 730+ days that will rival – if not dwarf – the events in Germany in the 1920s and 30s. Can only wonder which ones of us will be alive or not imprisoned by January 2016.

    Doug Wright Old Grouchy in reply to TheFineReport.com. | December 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    While I actually agree with what you say, there is one not so tiny exception: your concern about who’ll be imprisoned by January, 2016, is misplaced, in a sense.

    The point of time whereby we’ll need to be concerned about that is just after Obama signs a nonaggression pact with Putin, which is not beyond the possibility of happening with Obama in office.

      Larry Grathwohl has some background on this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWMIwziGrAQ

        Doug Wright Old Grouchy in reply to davod. | December 17, 2014 at 6:48 pm

        Thanks for providing this link. The reference to Bill Ayers, et al, mentioning needing to kill off 25-million Americans has been stated many times; This video link is chilling and provides much validity to the statement about killing off Americans.

        I’m hoping that we will get a democratically elected change of government in 2016 yet do not trust Obama, our current el Jefe, our el Supremo, at least in his mind. Obama’s more and more showing his true being and we can only hope that the Republican leaders in the next Congress will stand up to him; yet they are a weak reed for all that.

          I don’t think it is mentioned in the video, but I read his commentary on a meeting with 100s of these people where the discussion was along the same lines. He mentions his surprise at the number of well educated people PhDs. I have often wondered just where these people are now. We know where Ayers was, he became an education professor who taught the educators to teach.

This could not come at a better time to prop up the communist government. Cuba currently gets its oil free from Venezuela, while Venezuela currently sells gasoline at about $0.25 per gallon in its own country. With the collapse in oil prices, Venezuela will no longer be able to do this. Normalizing relations with the US now allows Cuba to be a vacation paradise for the jet set, just like it was in the 50’s before Castro. This now gives a boost to making that a reality.

As a consequence, the people of Venezuela (who sadly chose their fate by electing Chavez) will continue to suffer as well as Cuban dissidents.

Obama gave them a lifeline just when they were on the brink of collapse. If Obama was President in 1989 when the Berlin Wall collapsed, he would have pressured Europe to build it back up to keep stability.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to pablo panadero. | December 17, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    The Mafia is very happy today. They’re already writing out more checks to the Democrat Party and Obama.

    Snark Snark.

    Really, Fidel’s entire life work has been undone and he’s turned into a laughing stock – by Corporate-owned Obama. (Don’t forget it was the insurance companies that wrote Obamacare in their favor too.)

Is Russia still putting a spy base there?

It took an avowed anti-communist in Richard Nixon to bring credibility to talks with the Communist Chinese to begin valid negotiations. It took an avowed anti-communist in Ronald Reagan to bring credibility to negotiations with the Soviets in Iceland. Then we have Carter frozen with Iran and throwing away bargaining chips such as the B-1 prior to negotiations on arms limitations with the Russians. The very public history of this president’s (and the Left’s) empathy if not love of communism and Islam lend nothing to negotiations with the enemies of freedom and liberty in the world. These gains by Obama are cheap but bought at significant cost. A few cigars and bottled of rum are now the 30 pieces of silver.

Obama set a precedent when he engaged in normal relations with the Taliban.

Is this legal? Doesn’t it have to go through the congress or senate?

    Milhouse in reply to youandme2. | December 17, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Ending the embargo does. None of the rest needs anyone’s approval. Setting the USA’s foreign policy is entirely up to the president.

You can bet a whole bunch of automobile aficionados as well as cigar huffers will be quickly making their way to Cuba.

I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. Everybody’s going off half-cocked. China is communist and nearly our entire national debt is owed to them. Most of our imports are from China. Perhaps this will be a new start for Cuba.

This could be the single thing where I agree with Obama.

    Ragspierre in reply to Jim Jensen. | December 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I’ve thought for years it would be a swell idea to load up a light freighter in Mia-ma with good, used cars, take them to Cu-ber, and trade for classics.

    I’m not at all sanguine that would work, still. The Castros are…capricious. You could lose everything, including the freighter.

    As to cigars, I can buy Cubans. I’ve smoked some good ones, but in terms of value, they are vastly over-priced. And a lot of cigars are made by Cuban ex-pat families who buy bails of tobacco in Panama or elsewhere that are FROM Cuba.

    Cuba will remain a broken country until it shrugs off its Collectivist oppression. I’d love to see that for the Cuban people.

Connivin Caniff | December 17, 2014 at 1:41 pm

He has a lot of ‘splainin to do.

Maybe Obama likes Cuban cigars and his stash ran dry?

There’s a story told about Kennedy buying thousands of Cuban cigars before officially closing the door on them.

As with anything else related to Obama’s legacy, look at how this helps buy Democratic votes at the expense of hard-working conservative Americans. There you will find the real reason for the action.

its all about gitmo.
it has nothing to do with prisoners/embargo/etc its all about closing gitmo.
its an end run, next up will be claims about how we violated the lease because cuba has refused the payments.
the desired result is closing gitmo and getting the prisoners here under civilian court control.
time to build a facility at deigo garcia.

ScottTheEngineer | December 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm

So is the wet foot/dry foot policy suspended? Or do you automatically become a citizen when the plane lands

I remember when we had a Pope who risked his life to stand up against the Communists.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 17, 2014 at 3:34 pm

The only thing that surprises me is that he did not jointly announce sanctions on Israel.

This is like Reagan sending in the SeaBees to reinforce the Berlin Wall in exchange for some hostages and East German strudel.

Heckuva job, Barracula…

For a variety of reasons, I missed this entire news story. So I have to ask—did the U.S. get any concessions from Cuba for this latest Obama deal?

While O’ was giving his speech here, raul castro was giving one in Cuba. It ended like this:

Como hemos repetido, debemos aprender el arte de convivir, de forma civilizada, con nuestras diferencias.

Sobre estos importantes temas volveremos a hablar más adelante.

Somewhat literal English translation:

Like we’ve said before, must must learn to coexist in a civilized way, respecting our differences.

We’ll talk again about these important topics in the future.

What it really means:
(As per more than 40 years decoding communist rhetoric)

United States have always been in the wrong. They have to accept what they do and mind their own business.

Now that we have the upper hand, let’s wait it out until they realize that we are making no concessions. Ha!

Obama caved in.
I hope he bought enough lube.

Aww, he’s pulling another Nixon.

After announcing the re-establishment of relations with Cuba, White House staff noticed that he sat in the oval office all night long looking forlorn.

He though he would get a call from the Kremlin, offering him his long sought seat in the Politburo. But nothing. Not even a fruit basket.

Poor Barry.

Marco Rubio:

I anticipate we’re going to have a very interesting couple of years discussing how you’re going to get an ambassador nominated and how you’ll get an embassy funded

And this is the question I would like to see answered:

If those spies were found guilty by a jury, and they have not finished their sentences, what authority does the President have to just release them and send them to Cuba?

One lesson that I keep forgetting is not to describe Obama’s actions using superlatives. I must leave room for increasing contempt, outrage, and disbelief. It’s hard to imagine a more sickening move, but he’s got two more years. What’s next? Official diplomatic recognition of ISIS?

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to windbag. | December 17, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    He will never recognize ISIS. No, it is not that he opposes them in any way. If they are recognized by us as a sovereign nation; then when their inevitable terrorist attacks strike here it will be an act of war that there will be pressure to respond to. Absent recognition, the terrorist acts become “workplace violence” or “lone wolf” attacks that he can ignore other than to explain that Islam is the religion of peace and anyone who complains about the attacks is a bigot.

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