It’s almost official, the United States will normalize diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba. A U.S. Embassy will be opened in Havana, cuban cigars will be legally imported, trade restrictions will be eased, US banks will be permitted to work with Cuba, and travel restrictions will be decreased (though congressional legislation requires a complete lift on the ban).
Personally, I am elated at the prospect of traveling Havana, and enjoying the hospitality and richness of the Cuban people. The Obama administration can say it scored a moral victory, by shifting to a more humane policy towards the island nation. But something hollow about it remains, when taking into consideration that it took over fifty years to implement the normalization, and six years of the Obama presidency, when no new election is in sight until the 2016 presidential.
The failure of the U.S. Cuba policy was so egregious, it’s overturn should rather be a quiet affair, that somberly states the mishandling of the Cuba portfolio, and the intention to rectify it as soon as possible. Instead, we’ll likely see the administration, encouraged by the U.S. press, taking multiple victory laps.
Credit can be given where due, but it shouldn’t delude us into thinking U.S. Foreign Policy is taking a turn towards a new moral decency. After all, this should have been done decades ago.