Obama's hard-nosed negotiating style bears fruit

obama castro

There was a lot of concern among conservatives earlier when Obama announced his major breakthrough in relations with Cuba. Many felt that Obama gave away the store, that he gave Raul Castro a lot and received precious little in return.


President Obama will move as soon as next month to defang the 54-year-old American trade embargo against Cuba, administration officials said Thursday, using broad executive power to defy critics in Congress and lift restrictions on travel, commerce and financial activities.

The moves are only the beginning of what White House officials and foreign policy experts describe as a sweeping set of changes that Mr. Obama can make on his own to re-establish commercial and diplomatic ties with Cuba even in the face of angry congressional opposition.

“The embargo is a container — it’s been that way since President Eisenhower — that’s had regulations and laws put into it and taken out of it and mixed about,” said John Kavulich of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council. “President Obama is saying, ‘I’m going to leave a shell, but it’s going to be a proverbial Easter egg — it’s going to be hollow.’ ”

Now we’re seeing Obama’s use of flaccid soft power vindicated:

Castro set out Cuba’s demands during the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summit on Costa Rica on Wednesday.

“The re-establishment of diplomatic relations is the start of a process of normalizing bilateral relations, but this will not be possible while the blockade still exists, while they don’t give back the territory illegally occupied by the Guantanamo naval base,” Castro told delegates.

He also demanded the U.S. end the transmission of anti-Castro radio and television broadcasts and deliver “just compensation to our people for the human and economic damage that they’re suffered.”


So in exchange for giving Cuba access to US markets and exchanging ambassadors we have to stop broadcasting the truth to the Cuban people, evacuate the naval base that we hold under treaty at Guantanamo Bay, end economic sanctions against a state sponsor of terrorism, and pay reparations.

This is a great offer and is only made to us because of the mad negotiating skilz exhibited by the administration. If you want proof, just ask yourself which other American administration has ever received this offer.


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