WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and Cuba will start talks on normalizing full diplomatic relations, marking the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades, American officials said Wednesday. The announcement comes amid a series of new confidence-building measures between the longtime foes, including the release of American Alan Gross and the freeing of three Cubans jailed in the U.S.
Chances are though that it will end up with crammed in Disney style high rise.
What We Know So Far
•The U.S. and Cuba have reached a historic agreement to normalize relations.
•America will open an embassy in Havana.
•There will be relaxed restrictions on U.S. travelers visiting Cuba, and Americans can return with a limited number of goods, including cigars.
•Part of the agreement was the release of Alan Gross, an American held in Cuba for five years on espionage allegations, for humanitarian reasons.
•Both nations have also exchanged alleged spies who were imprisoned.
•The White House credited Pope Francis in bringing the longtime rivals to the negotiating table.
“My interest in Cuba has been the furthering of Democracy and freedom…nothing the President will announce today is going to further that goal and it’s ironic that a week after we imposed sanctions on human rights violators in Venezuela, we are lifting sanctions on the government that has taught the Venezuelans how to commit these human rights violations. It’s absurd.”
“It’s part of long record of coddling dictators and tyrants this administration has established.”
“It invites dictatorial and rogue regimes to use Americans serving overseas as bargaining chips.”
“This asymmetrical trade will invite further belligerence toward Cuba’s opposition movement and the hardening of the government’s dictatorial hold on its people,” he continued. “Let us all remind ourselves that an untold number of ordinary people yearning for democracy remain imprisoned by the exact same tormentors that have punished Alan Gross and they, along with all Cubans, deserve a free and liberated Cuba.”
“Seeing Alan Gross walk off that plane with his wife, Judy, was a sight I’ll never forget,” Levin said. “His unjust imprisonment and his family’s nightmare are finally over. A more regular relationship between the United States and Cuba has been overdue and is now possible. U.S. policy up to now has not worked in U.S. interests, and it has not weakened the Cuban regime.
“Alan’s return home also sends a message to Americans held around the world that our nation will not rest until they come home. I support the president’s courageous decision.”
We could be talking massive real estate bonanza time.
The United States first seized Guantánamo Bay and established a naval base there in 1898 during the Spanish–American War in the Battle of Guantánamo Bay. In 1903, the United States and Cuba signed a lease granting the United States permission to use the land as a coaling and naval station. The lease satisfied the Platt Amendment; this amendment stated a naval base at "certain specific points agreed upon by the President of the United States" was needed to "enable the United States to maintain independence of Cuba." The United States and Cuba signed a treaty in 1934, granting the United States a perpetual lease; private enterprise is not allowed under the treaty.