The White House tonight won’t rule out the possibility of President Obama visiting Cuba next year. This comes after a bombshell report this morning that left everyone, including the media dumbfounded when the Obama administration announced that the U.S. would re-establish an embassy in Havana and said American officials would travel there to “advance shared interests” in areas like migration, counterterrorism, drug trafficking and disaster response. The U.S will also expand travel to allow Americans to visit the Caribbean island that is only 90 miles south of Miami.
President Obama opening dialogue between Cuba and the United States is an idea that he campaigned on back during the 2008 presidential election, arguing that the policy is outdated and Cuba is no longer one of our enemies. After he won re-election the idea soon took a seat on the bench because of the economic crisis and healthcare. It wasn’t until Nelson Mandela’s memorial a little over a year ago that the idea was brought up again when President Obama shook President Raúl Castro hand before giving a speech at the memorial.
Republican leaders wasted no time attacking Obama’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba. Some GOP lawmakers went as far as casting it as appeasement and the product of extortion by the communist Castro government. Senator Rubio (R) of Florida, took a swipe at President Obama by saying, “It’s part of a long record of coddling dictators and tyrants that this administration has established.”
This news comes as the media and Republicans are quickly trying to cast President Obama as a lame duck President but since his major defeat on Election Day a few weeks ago he has been anything but a lame duck. Using executive order on immigration and now sidestepping Republicans once again to form a new open relationship with Cuba will no doubt make the right-wing radio shows and Republicans blood boil tonight.
Said Obama: “We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries.” He added that the deal will “begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas” and move beyond a “rigid policy that’s rooted in events that took place before most of us were born.”
Looks like Americans soon might be able to enjoy the world famous Cuban cigars legally soon.