President Obama changes the course of US-Cuba relationsPosted by Lawrence Lease on December 17, 2014
After five decades of heated U.S.-Cuba relations, President Obama has announced that the U.S. would restore diplomatic relations it dismantled with Cuba nearly 50 years ago, drawing opposition from both parties. Lawmakers from both sides oppose the plan of reconciling with the communist run country. President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro held 18 months of secret talks guided by the Vatican and Canada. They both agreed Tuesday on a prisoner exchange as well as the opening of embassies in both countries.
Obama delivered a speech on Wednesday announcing the end of an outdated policy of isolating Cuba which has failed to achieve change on the island. According to Obama, the moves were made possible by Cuba’s release of American Alan Gross, who was imprisoned in Cuba for the past five years. Obama also mentioned that Cuba released an intelligence official who spied for the United States and was imprisoned for 20 years. In exchange for Gross and the spy, Obama returned three Cuban intelligence agents that were being held in the United States. While Obama was addressing the U.S., President Raul Castro addressed the people of Cuba. Lawmakers were swiftly to condemn Obama’s major foreign policy announcement.
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