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Kerry calls for a new era in relations with Cuba, but also urged political change

Saturday, August 15th 2015 - 08:33 UTC
Full article 24 comments

US Secretary of State John Kerry declared a new era in relations as he celebrated restored diplomatic ties in Havana on Friday, but he also urged political change in Cuba, telling Cubans they should be free to choose their own leaders. Read full article


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  • Enrique Massot

    The writer above has attempted to present a good news story as one more scuffle common during the Cold War.
    However, the step taken yesterday by the Obama administration is a step in the right direction toward stopping treating Latin America as an extension of the US territory.
    It goes on to show the arrogance of pretending to deny Cuba the right to choose its own destiny, and shows the strength of the Cuban people defeating for over half a century the superpower's continued attempts to make it fail.
    An excellent BBC article quotes Kerry as qualifying the event as a “truly historical moment.”
    It also notes Kerry conceded that, in the past, US policies have not led to democracy.
    “Cuba's future is for Cubans to shape,” the article quoted Kerry as saying.
    Jon Sopel, BBC North America editor, describes the tone at the ceremony:
    “Diplomacy is the cold and rational pursuit of national interest. But twice I saw John Kerry wipe his eye at the end of his speech at the American embassy.
    ”The handing over of the flag by three old men who 54 years ago as young marines took it down; the US army band striking up the national anthem; the Stars and Stripes hoisted once more - this could never be seen as just cold diplomacy at work. There was emotion.
    Kudos to BBC for picturing the re-establishment of diplomatic US-Cuba relations as what it truly was: a sign of a new era for the US, Cuba and for all Latin America.

    Aug 15th, 2015 - 05:56 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    Only when the monkey nearest the camera in the link and his monkey brother are dead will anything have a chance to improve, BUT, and there's always a but, what if the monkeys have stated who of the military should 'takeover'?

    What price advancement then?

    Aug 15th, 2015 - 06:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Briton

    Will not Cuba now claim all of the island.

    Aug 15th, 2015 - 07:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • aussiesunshinee

    The USA was loosing Latin America.There was and is a new kid in the neighbourhood, which is China, so either you do what needed to be done and
    drop the embargo on Cuba or The USA is history south of the border......

    Aug 15th, 2015 - 10:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    Does the Cuban way include doing business with the USA Enri? Because it seems to me that the Cuban way has not been too USSR supported it...... then Chubby Chavo....or little bird.....and now not having the US to trade with is the reason of its collspse?
    Susie I suggest you take a road trip and see the Chinese mirscle.

    Aug 15th, 2015 - 11:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    1 Enrique,

    “However, the step taken yesterday by the Obama administration is a step in the right direction toward stopping treating Latin America as an extension of the US territory
    It goes on to show the arrogance of pretending to deny Cuba the right to choose its own destiny, and shows the strength of the Cuban people defeating for over half a century the superpower's continued attempts to make it fail”

    Ironic that you expound on the right of self- determination for the Island people to “choose their it's own destiny” and the strength of the island people defeating for decades their neighbour's “continued attempts to make it fail”.

    You have described the relationship of Argentina towards the Falkland Islanders perfectly- what a hypocrite you are!!

    Aug 16th, 2015 - 07:39 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    You are correct,China is the reason.The US is slowly losing its ability to impose its will as was witnessed by the need for Blair's role in the Iraq war and the Afgan adventure.On this site it's the failure to see these limitations of a 'super-power' that doesn't get recognised but instead they pontificate as if they still rule unopposed.

    Aug 16th, 2015 - 10:05 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    7 Yuleno

    Your jealousy is shining through.

    The US embargoed Cuba and you criticise their motives and policies.

    The U.S. lifts the embargo and reaches out to Cuba, and you criticise their motives...

    The Cuban people are happy to embrace their neighbour.

    You are a malodorous twit.

    Aug 16th, 2015 - 02:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    You don't read properly.I have never criticised the Yankee bully tactics of a regime as legitimate as the Yankee regime.And I don't congratulate them for their current stance.They are both considered policy decisions and these are observations.
    Does that make sense if you read it 2 or 3 times.
    Once again #1 is correct in that the china effect is a major contributer to this correction of a failed Yankee policy.It has clearly failed.David and Goliath !

    Aug 16th, 2015 - 03:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest


    Looks to me that it is not possible for you to concede the US may have done the right thing finally, 56 years and three generations ago, and 26 years after the Soviet threat ended.
    For years since, there has been a call for 'normalisation' of relations.
    It is more about US internal politics than anything else.

    Aug 16th, 2015 - 03:28 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    I wonder who in Cuba will be choosing their destiny.....the “regime” or the people?

    It was not much or a destiny choice when one could not leave the island paradise.

    Not much of a destiny choice if a group of people want a candidate from a different party. Oops.....correction. There are some other parties but they are not allowed to campaign or run for office.

    The people of the Falklands are choosing their destiny more than the people of Cuba.

    Aug 16th, 2015 - 03:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    11 Poppy

    Yuleno is an idiot
    - criticise the U.S. for embargo
    - criticise US for lifting embargo

    The Castros were running shit-scared... they want to cling to power, but they have a burgeoning population of 11m on an island the same size it was pre-revolution in 1959, when they had 6m.

    Just a few miles from the U.S., they watch TV directly from Miami and elsewhere.
    I sat in the cafeteria in the basement of the Hotel Nacional with senior Cuban trade negotiators, and Revolutionary Guard personnel as they sat watching 90's Anerican sitcoms.
    The people now have smartphones, and illicit computers and email accounts. There is a robust black market of videos, music, YouTube content available on illegal flash drives, very current - they know what is going on outside and they want it!
    It just became possible to buy and sell cars, and open private businesses like restaurants - which are thriving!

    The Cuban youth are restless!!

    The Castros couldn't reform fast enough - despite their bluster, the lifting of the embargo might just save their asses in a way that Chinese 'partnerships' with the government couldn't.

    Yuleno is full of sh.. rhetoric, nothing more.

    Aug 16th, 2015 - 04:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    Great post.Like how decisive you are about what you think you know.tell us more about the time you where so near to Cuban trade negotiators.I am all ears just let me stop laughing first.

    Aug 16th, 2015 - 07:09 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    Personally myself Troy.......I would prefer to leave Cuba out of the USA markets. The only ones to benefit will be Cubas billionaires not the average Juan. I can't even see a benefit for US businesses to sell to a poor demographic. Their GDP is less than half of my tiny state's GDP.
    And still not one supporter has explained to me why, if Cuba's system is so good, why do they need our markets?
    The embargo policy, good, bad or whatever, it is our sovereign right to trade with whomever we we so choose. It is not Cuba's right to have access to our markets.

    Aug 16th, 2015 - 08:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Troy Tempest

    14 Poppy

    Precisely right.

    Cuba's system is NOT good.

    The young people know it is not good and they can't get what they want - mostly, they are stuck on the island with low wages.

    The older generation likes the system that looked after their parents, but it's fading away.

    They seem to expect some sort of hybrid system like they have with Europe - partnership economic/ tourist ventures using outside money and expertise.

    Under the Soviets, they had access to markets and economic subsidies - lots of resentment when the Soviets bugged outta there overnight, leaving them destitute and isolated.
    Beans, rice, and fish for many years.

    @13 Yuleno,

    When were you in Cuba, you know nothing about it.

    They need markets, they want investment, they want a U.S. tourism market.

    Stalwart supporter Venzla is in economic and social chaos - can Cuba rely on the oil supply?

    Aug 16th, 2015 - 10:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    The beautiful skyline of Havana:

    Who would chose this as their destiny? As being told this is your destiny?

    If one in Cuba could choose their destiny, why could they not leave the island?
    If one could choose their destiny, why is their only one political party allowed to run for office?

    Yuleno, it's been two years since you took your head out of the sand. I've posed several simple questions. Will you answer them or evade them with some speech on something else? You're like a sniper. Not matter what comes your way, you can always pick out something else to hit and deflect.

    Aug 17th, 2015 - 10:32 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    Watch how you turn corners on your way to your work.Thats when gunmen strike.Dont ask questions if you don't get answers.Or in your case vote for either of your parties and get what you get.Freedom in abstraction!

    Aug 17th, 2015 - 05:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    I've been threatened by a lot better than you Yulena. Some have carried them out forgive me if I say you will have to do a lot better with you pathetic threat. Unless you'd enjoy a coffee and we can exchange war stories.....and scars?

    You say two parties.....but I ask you directly andpointedly.

    How many at the state level?

    How many at the county level.....and the best democracy many at the city level.....parties that is in case you forgot?

    Things like you look at the USA and base you arguments on the Federal government.....forgetting they do not operate in a vacuum.

    You really are a old fool at that.

    Aug 17th, 2015 - 06:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    How many in reality.You live dangerously.Cuba is better place with you living outside and not inside the country.Maybe you would like to your the country soon and give lectures on your exploits.I,personally, am too busy to attend any but might read a complimentary biography.

    Aug 17th, 2015 - 09:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    You seem different yulena, your posts. One thing remains the same with you though. Brasshole must have worn you out.

    Aug 18th, 2015 - 12:53 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Hepatia You British are so obsessed with your “Falkland Islands” that it is difficult to know what you are going to say when the Malvinas are returned within the next 25 years.

    Aug 19th, 2015 - 06:06 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    As an outsider looking in.....seems to me that you RG's are the ones running around the world whining on deaf ears about the mysterious Las Malvinas. Something may very well turn around and happen in 25 years........perhaps democracy in South America.

    Aug 19th, 2015 - 10:09 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Hepatia So you British want to introduce democracy to America. But wait, you have already tried that twice before. And you were soundly whipped both times. And now you are trying subversion and we now have American lords - past US Defense Secretary Lord Casper Weinberger (to give him his full title) and some ex US Rep. up in WI (whose name I presently forget, because he is so very forgettable).

    So lets see what this British democracy will look like when you introduce it into the US. Of course we would need to have an hereditary American king. And that king would have to be of the state religion so we would need to have the 'Church of America'. Then there would be the American 'House of Lords' which would be composed of the 'Lords of the Realm' and the bishops of the 'Church of America'. To replace the elected office of president we would have to have an unelected 'head of government' or 'premier'. In order that elections for some office may occasionally occur we would have to set up, under the direction of you British, a 'House of Commons' which would perform the duty of a rubber stamp of the unelected administration. Finally, we would need to delete the US Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, because, as all British know, constitutions cannot be written down.

    Good luck with selling that rubbish to the American people. Its not possible. Best you British stay over there wallowing in the cesspit of your corrupt political system.

    Aug 20th, 2015 - 03:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    Hep C there are no brits's really getting to be annoying with you pretending to be an American. If you need to ID by continent rather than country.......make sure you add the South.

    Aug 20th, 2015 - 04:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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