Fresh from The Hill:
President Obama will announce Wednesday that the U.S. is beginning talks with Havana to normalize full diplomatic relations with Cuba following the release of a U.S. prisoner jailed for five years by the country.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in a press released hailed the decision to seek a normalization of relations with Cuba, while the Associated Press reported the U.S. would use the talks to open an embassy in the island nation.
“Opening the door with Cuba for trade, travel, and the exchange of ideas will create a force for positive change in Cuba that more than 50 years of our current policy of exclusion could not achieve,” Durbin said in his release.
Obama is expected to deliver a statement at noon from the White House.
The Obama administration’s decision to seek a normalization of relations with Cuba is sure to set off a firestorm of debate with Congress and in the Cuban population in Florida, a key state in any presidential election.
I guess since the unilateral talks with Iran broke down, Obama has to help out dictators wherever he can. Besides, if they make nice, Obama can get some nice Cuban cigars, which Michelle probably won’t let him smoke anyway.
Honestly, I’ve worked with Cuban expatriates, and “firestorm” is a very mild word for the way they’re likely to react. And with Democrats like Durbin cheering him on, this is going to splash all over the D Party as well. If Hillary doesn’t say something about this, and fast, she may just lose any chance at the Cuban-American vote.