Earlier today, President Obama announced new diplomatic relations with Cuba.
The release of Alan Gross and the recent transfer to Uruguay of suspected terrorists held in Guantanamo Bay certainly hint at improved ties between Washington and Havana.
The diplomatic isolation of and financial sanctions against Cuba have been in place too long. Havana no longer represents the international threat it did when the Communist state was actively fomenting revolution abroad and supported financially by Russia.
Cuba’s political influence abroad has waned—replaced by louder more threatening voices. Under President Raúl Castro and his ailing brother Fidel, Havana now seems content with sending medical missionaries abroad rather than soldiers.
For decades thousands of Cuban refugees in the U.S. have secretly bypassed and undercut U.S. financial sanctions against Raul Castro regime by publicly denouncing the Communist government yet secretly funneling U.S. dollars to relatives still on the island.
By easing tensions between the two nations, a new relationship between Havana and Washington would reflect the realities of 2014.
This decision by the United States is long overdue.