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mimi
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#51

Post by mimi »

WASHINGTON — 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.











@ReutersPolitics: Rubio will oppose WH efforts to confirm ambassadors, fund embassies.





No word on if he's gonna work to close embassies in Russia, China or other countries.



Obama thanked the pope.







President Obama thanked Pope Francis for his role in negotiating a more open policy on Cuba and the release of U.S. citizen Alan Gross from Cuban custody



In a 15-minute speech announcing that the U.S. would normalize relations with Cuba, Obama said that the pope helped spur the change and personally thanked him. The Vatican then released a statement noting that the Vatican hosted delegations from both countries in October to negotiate the deal after Pope Francis had written to both leaders.



A senior administration official said that the appeal from the Pope was “very rare” and unprecedented.



“Pope Francis personally issued an appeal in a letter that he sent to President Obama and to President Raul Castro calling on them to resolve the case of Alan Gross and the cases of the three Cubans who have been imprisoned here in the United States and also encouraging the United States and Cuba to pursue a closer relationship,” said the official. “The Vatican then hosted the US and Cuban delegations where we were able to review the commitments that we are making today.”



http://time.com/3637901/pope-francis-cuba-obama/



So Rubio felt the need to talk smack to the pope:







@sahilkapur: Rubio on the Pope: "I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom & democracy…


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#52

Post by Roboe »

I don't understand their opposition. Unless you're a Rubio, with Cuban-American constituents, why oppose it? It makes Graham look dated.

There's a "law" on that: "Modern conservative ideals are the opposite of what Liberal wants today. Updated daily." (or words to that effect).



They don't like to deal with the fact when it's blatantly obvious that their policies aren't working. 50 years of embargo hasn't worked, so naturally we need to give it another 50 years to really kick in. See also: Gay marriage, tax cuts. :roll:

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esseff44
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#53

Post by esseff44 »







Only Congress can end the embargo but the executive branch can do these other things.



Lindsey Graham has already vowed to stop any funding of a US embassy in Havanna. And wouldn't a potential ambassador to Cuba have to be confirmed by the Senate? Good luck with that one...



If it wasn't such a serious matter, the RWNJ'ers pavlovian reaction to anything related to Cuba would almost be hilarious.









We have a State Department presence in Havana that acts as a de facto embassy. As we have seen, the Senate has not confirmed quite a large number of Obama appointed ambassadors......so nothing new there. We have dozens of embassies with acting ambassadors because of GOP recalcitrance.



USAID has been spending tons of State Department money on trying to cause trouble and undermine the Cuban government. That's what Gross was doing there. They had even recruited hip hop artists from Croatia to infiltrate the independent music scene in Cuba to foment rebellion against the government. If they redirected that towards better relations, Senator Graham's threats seem less threatening.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... _in_Havana

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#54

Post by gupwalla »

Maybe the contrarians can introduce the Graham-Rubio-Cruz Bill to Reinstate Batista and Restore Banana Republicanism to Cuba.

Then we can have a public debate on the merits.
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#55

Post by SueDB »

Get ready for a bunch of Cuban doctors. The pay here is much better.
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#56

Post by esseff44 »

The polls showed something like 80% of Latino voters approved of normalizing relations with Cuba. Any inroads that the GOP thought they could make with Latino voters with Rubio, Cruz or even JEB are more than negated by their anti-Cuban and anti-immigration stances. The more they scream and yell about this, the worse it looks for them. It was always a loser for the Dems to go along with it. The GOP always had the rich Cubans refugees and a few other rich immigrants and that was about all they were ever going to get.

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#57

Post by esseff44 »





Get ready for a bunch of Cuban doctors. The pay here is much better.





They have to get exit visas first. What you may get is a lot more US medical students going to Cuba to study because they can afford it and don't come out with $$$$$$$ of debt.

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#58

Post by Volkonski »

Cuba is a small nation of about 11 million people. Once it ceased to be an extension of the Soviet Union in the western hemisphere it became mostly unimportant. No important interest of the USA is furthered by not normalizing relations with Cuba. The concerns of a small number of Cuban refugees should not drive American foreign policy. If we can get along with China we can get along with Cuba.



I am glad that the President is doing this. It should have been done a long time ago. In the natural course of events the Castro brothers will soon pass from the scene. We will be in a better position to influence events once relations are normalized and we are Cuba's largest trading partner.
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#59

Post by SueDB »

If you look at the Cuban airbases on Google Earth, they don't look like they have had much use. Most of the Cuban Air force is reportedly in storage.
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#60

Post by mimi »





Here's a few numbers from that poll:

— 68 percent of respondents favor restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba.

— Among younger respondents, 90 percent of respondents favor restoring diplomatic ties.

— When you include only registered voters, 51 percent of them support continuing the embargo.

— 69 percent of all respondents favor the lifting of travel restrictions impeding all Americans from traveling to Cuba.

— 53 percent of respondents said they would be likely to vote for a "candidate for political office who supported the re-establishment of diplomatic relations."

— A large majority — 71 percent — responded that the U.S. embargo of Cuba has not worked at all or has not worked very well.





That poll was from this past summer.



http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/201 ... is-nuanced

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#61

Post by gatsby »

It's a good day to have ticker symbol CUBA. Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund earlier saw a 30% share-price increase. It's now up about 26.5%.

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#62

Post by Roboe »





If you look at the Cuban airbases on Google Earth, they don't look like they have had much use. Most of the Cuban Air force is reportedly in storage.







Most of their inventory is vintage Soviet machinery. The only reasonably modern aircraft they have is the MiG-29, of which they have a grand total of 3.

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#63

Post by esseff44 »





If you look at the Cuban airbases on Google Earth, they don't look like they have had much use. Most of the Cuban Air force is reportedly in storage.











Castro was determined to keep drug traffic from going through Cuba for many reasons. The Cubans co-operated with the US to keep the drug traffickers out and were largely successful. Most people do not realize the degree of co-operation that there was in spite of the relationship otherwise. The Cubans saved a lot of money by letting the US Coast Guard do the heavy lifting outside Cuban waters.



http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-19528416

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#64

Post by gatsby »

Cuba might want to work on the English version of its website.

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esseff44
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#65

Post by esseff44 »





Cuba might want to work on the English version of its website.





There are lots of sites like this:



http://www.cuba.com/

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#66

Post by esseff44 »





It's a good day to have ticker symbol CUBA. Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund earlier saw a 30% share-price increase. It's now up about 26.5%.







Already a reaction about the cigars and the international market:







Read More Rubio: Congress won't support Cuban embassy "I'm sure there's going to be a lot of legal battles ahead," Zimmerman said. "Clearly, that's something to get through," agreed JR Cigars' Norris. "That's something the manufacturers will have to work out." Certainly, an easing of trade restrictions between the United States and Cuba could produce losers as well as winner in the cigar industry. Cabrera predicted a threat to cigar sales from the Dominican Republic into the United States, for example, though he said any downturn would be temporary. Aside from the Dominican Republic, major cigar-producing nations include Honduras, Mexico, Ecuador and others. Less temporary perhaps, would be the damage done to the makers of counterfeit "Cubans." "A lot of people think they're smoking Cubans when they're actually smoking counterfeits," said Manuel Busciglio, general manager at Edward's Pipe & Tobacco Shop, a Tampa, Florida-based tobacco store. Busciglio added that some people buy a $150 box of what they believe are Cuban cigars, when in fact 99 percent of them are fake. Read More Pope was personally involved in Cuba talks Busciglio agreed with Cabrera on the effects a new flow of Cuban tobacco would have on cigars from other countries, saying the big Caribbean island produces tobacco with a "mystique" for Americans.



https://finance.yahoo.com/news/viva-cig ... 00888.html





But there are other products that will be affected as well....such as sugar and rum.

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#67

Post by Roboe »

But there are other products that will be affected as well....such as sugar and rum.



Going to be interesting to see what happens to the Havana Club brand. IIRC Bacardi sells their brand version in the US and the Dominican Republic, while the Cuban government & Pernod Richard sells their grand version everywhere else.

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#68

Post by Family Liberty Patriot »





Finally, we can bring back a damn cigar from Canada!







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esseff44
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#69

Post by esseff44 »

IIRC, the big rum producers move operations to DR after they left Cuba and set up shop hanging onto their branding.



Another sector that could see changes would be pharmaceuticals.

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#70

Post by gatsby »











Cuba might want to work on the English version of its website.





There are lots of sites like this:



http://www.cuba.com/







Sites about Cuba? I'm sure there are. I was posting the official government website. As for cuba,com:





Cuba.com is not affiliated with or owned by any government or municipal authority.


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#71

Post by gatsby »





STATEMENT BY THE CUBAN PRESIDENT



(December 17, 2014)



Fellow countrymen,



Since my election as President of the State Council and Council of Ministers I have reiterated in many occasions our willingness to hold a respectful dialogue with the United States on the basis of sovereign equality, in order to deal reciprocally with a wide variety of topics without detriment to the national Independence and self-determination of our people.



This stance was conveyed to the US Government both publicly and privately by Comrade Fidel on several occasions during our long standing struggle, stating the willingness to discuss and solve our differences without renouncing any of our principles.



The heroic Cuban people, in the wake of serious dangers, aggressions, adversities and sacrifices has proven to be faithful and will continue to be faithful to our ideals of independence and social justice. Strongly united throughout these 56 years of Revolution, we have kept our unswerving loyalty to those who died in defense of our principles since the beginning of our independence wars in 1868.



Today, despite the difficulties, we have embarked on the task of updating our economic model in order to build a prosperous and sustainable Socialism.



As a result of a dialogue at the highest level, which included a phone conversation I had yesterday with President Obama, we have been able to make headway in the solution of some topics of mutual interest for both nations.



As Fidel promised on June 2001,when he said: “They shall return!” Gerardo, Ramon, and Antonio have arrived today to our homeland.



The enormous joy of their families and of all our people, who have relentlessly fought for this goal, is shared by hundreds of solidarity committees and groups, governments, parliaments, organizations, institutions, and personalities, who for the last sixteen years have made tireless efforts demanding their release. We convey our deepest gratitude and commitment to all of them.



President Obama’s decision deserves the respect and acknowledgement of our people.



I wish to thank and acknowledge the support of the Vatican, most particularly the support of Pope Francisco in the efforts for improving relations between Cuba and the United States. I also want to thank the Government of Canada for facilitating the high-level dialogue between the two countries.



In turn, we have decided to release and send back to the United States a spy of Cuban origin who was working for that nation.



On the other hand, and for humanitarian reasons, today we have also sent the American citizen Alan Gross back to his country.



Unilaterally, as has always been our practice, and in strict compliance with the provisions of our legal system, the concerned prisoners have received legal benefits, including the release of those persons that the Government of the United States had conveyed their interest in.



We have also agreed to renew diplomatic relations.



This in no way means that the heart of the matter has been solved. The economic, commercial, and financial blockade, which causes enormous human and economic damages to our country, must cease.



Though the blockade has been codified into law, the President of the United States has the executive authority to modify its implementation.



We propose to the Government of the United States the adoption of mutual steps to improve the bilateral atmosphere and advance towards normalization of relations between our two countries, based on the principles of International Law and the United Nations Charter.



Cuba reiterates its willingness to cooperate in multilateral bodies, such as the United Nations.



While acknowledging our profound differences, particularly on issues related to national sovereignty, democracy, human rights and foreign policy, I reaffirm our willingness to dialogue on all these issues.



I call upon the Government of the United States to remove the obstacles hindering or restricting ties between peoples, families, and citizens of both countries, particularly restrictions on travelling, direct post services, and telecommunications.



The progress made in our exchanges proves that it is possible to find solutions to many problems.



As we have reiterated, we must learn the art of coexisting with our differences in a civilized manner.



We will continue talking about these important issues at a later date



Thank you.







Source.

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esseff44
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#72

Post by esseff44 »







But there are other products that will be affected as well....such as sugar and rum.





Going to be interesting to see what happens to the Havana Club brand. IIRC Bacardi sells their brand version in the US and the Dominican Republic, while the Cuban government & Pernod Richard sells their grand version everywhere else.













The Bacardí family (and hence the company) maintained a fierce opposition to Fidel Castro's revolution in Cuba in the 1960s. In his book, Bacardi, The Hidden War (ISBN 978-0745318738), Hernando Calvo Ospina outlines the political element to the family's money. Ospina describes how the Bacardi family and Company left Cuba after the Castro regime confiscated the Company’s Cuban assets on 15 October 1960; in particular, in nationalizing and banning all private property on the island as well as all bank accounts. However, due to concerns over the previous Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista the company had started foreign branches a few years prior to the revolution; the Company moved the ownership of the Company's trademarks, assets and proprietary formulas out of the country to the Bahamas prior to the revolution as well as constructing plants in Puerto Rico and Mexico after Prohibition to save import taxes for rum being imported to the US. This helped the company survive after the communist government confiscated without compensation all Bacardi assets in the country.[14]

Ospina also explains the close ties Bacardí family members had to the US political elite as well as organizations of state such as the CIA. The family funded various Cuban exile organizations such as CANF.

More recently, Bacardi lawyers were influential in the drafting of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act which sought to extend the scope of the United States embargo against Cuba.[15] In 1999, Otto Reich, a lobbyist in Washington on behalf of Bacardi, drafted section 211 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Appropriations Act, FY1999 (Pub.L. 105–277), a bill that became known as the Bacardi Act. Section 211 denied trademark protection to products of Cuban businesses expropriated after the Cuban revolution, a provision keenly sought by Bacardi. The act was aimed primarily at the Havana Club brand in the US. The brand was created by the José Arechabala company and confiscated without compensation in the Cuban revolution. The Havana Club trademark had been registered by the Cuban government in the United States without permission of the rightful owners.[16] The new law invalidated the trademark registration. Section 211 has been challenged unsuccessfully by the Cuban government and the European Union in US courts; however, the act has been ruled illegal by the WTO (August 2001). The US Congress has yet to re-examine the ma



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacardi





So, yes, the Bacardi family had a lot to do with keeping and expanding the embargo.

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#73

Post by Patagoniagirl »

The Floriduh Legislature banned any Cuban-trained doctors from practicing medicine in here. Not sure how that will change, if at all. It is Florida and they elected Rick Scott...twice.

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#74

Post by TollandRCR »

The U.S. already has an embassy building in Havana, now occupied by the U.S. Interests Section with Swiss affiliation.




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#75

Post by Adrianinflorida »

Well, maybe next time I go to Cuba, I'll use my US passport instead of my Canadian passport. The sad part of the embargo is that it didn't stop any American that wanted to go, for years, Cuban passport officers simply put a loose piece of paper I to US passports and stamped that, after exiting, you could simply remove it from your passport.

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