By: Bloomberg.com President Barack Obama’s handshake with Cuban president Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service last week has fed both hopes and fears that the half-century freeze between the U.S. and Cuba is about to thaw.
Don’t light up the Cohibas just yet. Obama’s largely meaningless courtesy was accompanied by a more relevant bit of meaningless theater: Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s walkout on Castro’s speech. Obama has done little to fix the U.S.’s failed Cuba policy. Yet Congress’s bitter-enders remain determined — and able — to defend an embargo that hurts U.S. interests and undermines its values.
Last month, Obama went to Miami and wisely told a gathering of Cuban-Americans that U.S. policy toward their homeland “doesn’t make sense.” Yet his administration’s easing of restrictions on travel and commerce has basically just restored the status quo under Bill Clinton’s administration, before George W. Bush clamped down…
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