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.”
From the White House release on Cuba news: "We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result" pic.twitter.com/OKWn40tLeh
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) December 17, 2014
Secretary of State John Kerry embraces Alan Gross at Joint Base Andrews. Photo: Jill Zuckman/Gross family spokeswoman pic.twitter.com/IDgPOLqaBe
— Ram Ramgopal (@RamCNN) December 17, 2014
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) December 17, 2014
Reaction has been fast and mostly furious, even from those relieved that hostage Alan Gross was released:
Rep.-elect Carlos Curbelo, Cuban-Am fro SoFla, says exchanging prisoners for Gross is "condemnable and unacceptable" pic.twitter.com/FljEmyu5lL
— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) December 17, 2014
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) December 17, 2014
(h/t Twitchy for above video)
— POLITICO (@politico) December 17, 2014
Rubio to @jeffzeleny: "I would love for there to be normal relations w/ Cuba, but for that, Cuba has to be normal."
— Rick Klein (@rickklein) December 17, 2014
I will do all in my power to block the use of funds to open an embassy in Cuba. Normalizing relations with Cuba is bad idea at a bad time.
— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) December 17, 2014
Boehner Calls Cuba Policy a ‘Mindless’ Concession http://t.co/L4pM7UB64C
— NYT First Draft (@nytpolitics) December 17, 2014
This is a good question:
when does jerusalem get its US embassy?
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) December 17, 2014
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.