US to restore full relations with Cuba

| 18/12/2014

(New York Times): President Obama on Wednesday ordered the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba and the opening of an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century as he vowed to “cut loose the shackles of the past” and sweep aside one of the last vestiges of the Cold War. The surprise announcement came at the end of 18 months of secret negotiations that produced a prisoner swap brokered with the help of Pope Francis and concluded by a telephone call between Mr Obama and President Raúl Castro. The historic deal broke an enduring stalemate between two countries divided by just 90 miles of water but oceans of mistrust and hostility dating from the days of Theodore Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill and the nuclear brinkmanship of the Cuban missile crisis.

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Comments (47)

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  1. Mr. Ected says:

    Be careful Cuba..they want something. And it isn't about bringing "democracy". Read Confessions of An Economic Hitman. Or "human rights". Read the Senate Torture Report. And look around at the places in the world where the U.S. has stepped in to "help". Vietnam, Cambodia, Angola, The Philippines, Guatemala, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Iraq, Afghanistan. And ask yourself..are they better off.

  2. Whodatis says:

    Fidel must be smiing his ass off today!

    Whatever the outcome, it was high time the USA and Cuba dropped the gauntlet. The situation is beyond ridiculous.

    You win some, you lose some – Cuba rightly kicked America's meddling ass out of its sovereign nation a few decades ago … get over it.

     

    • Che Guevara says:

      I am in full support of normalizing relationships with Cuba, but Whodatis’s smug neo-socialist ramblings are what I find truly ridiculous.

      The Cuban Missile Crisis, brought on by Castro’s agreement to accept Russian nuclear missiles aimed at America, on Cuban soil, was the closest the cold war came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war.

      I find it disingenuous to characterize the last minute back-down by Castro  as  “kicked America’s meddling ass out of a sovereign nation a few decades ago”.

      I am not sure how you smile your ass off, unless of course, you also talk out of it.

      Picture that,

      Che 

       

       

  3. Ay Papi! says:

    Cuba, like most of Central America, is just a haven for bloated, decrepit, old farts looking for cheap, desperate, underage prostitutes.

    Look at the men from Cayman who are always going over to those places. It ain't for the food or shopping…….

     

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL, been there done that but the women sure the heck weren't desparate or underage. Damn I even had my meals cooked for me by one.

       

  4. CrabClaw says:

    So does that mean the British Goverment and the FCO office will get some balls and demand to know what happened to Carlton Bodden and where is he in Cuba?

  5. Anonymous says:

    OH NO! Americans in Cuba—pretty soon they have them paying taxes to go fight wars!

    This is not good for the Cuban people. They have a very Unique culture and way of life that I as a Caymanian cherish!

     

    • Viva Cuba! says:

      I can tell you Cuba doesn't have beer bottles, condoms, plastics that mess up their beaches; moreover no tresspassing signs to stop locals from going on the beaches. But now seeing the embargo lifted and the island swamp with tourists and capitalists wanting to expliot them and their young women, I can only hope and pray for the best. 

      Hopefully the Cuban Intelligent will not allow this to happen.

      • Anonymous says:

        10.58, you seem to think there is only one intelligent. Hope they find him or her soon.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why on earth did you capitalise "Unique@?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dead on 10.11- yeah they have no freedom of speech, no right to elect idiots to govern them, crumbling housing and infrastructure, leaving as fast as they can on boats not made for purpose, hell they probably cant even right on CNS as they have no internet. A unique culture and way of life indeed. I can almost guess which cave you crawled out of.

  6. Che Wha? says:

    Cuba is essentially a failed state at this point. I have been there and seen it up close. It will take decades to rebuild its economy and it will also experience tremendous turmoil, including dramatic escalations in local crime as the iron handed security of the dictatorship is dismantled.

    There will be extensive litigation as American Cubans and businesses, who fled in the 60s, fight to reclaim their appropriated properties. It will become a huge drugs transshipment point into the USA. And there is nothing in the history of Spanish colonial cultural legacy that suggests it will ever achieve an organized or efficient economy. In short it will be a mess for a considerable time.

    On the plus side, where Cayman is concerned, it will become the main hub of an expanded Western Caribbean cruise circuit and Cayman will continue to be a stop on that route.

    Viva la revolucion,………

     

     

  7. LOST TOURISM says:

    Do you see what happens when we ignore the relations we have with our Caribbean neighbors . Our politicians could have built stronger relations with Cuba, but because of the UK/US opinions about the island nation they shy back. Now …. wait until the tables turn and we have to become the refugees and migrants looking to Cuba for help. Remember the British Foreign Office do not care about us people; its all about what they can get out of Cayman!  And if our economy becomes weak and there is no more they can get off of us, it is only our neighbors we have. 

    I am scared that we have localpoliticians who are too lukewarm about this issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      The full stop in the last sentence is in the wrong place.   It should be after lukewarm.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Why include the UK in your comment? UK travellers have been able to visit Cuba for years (as have travellers from Cayman). Package holidays from the UK are big business.  

    • Anonymous says:

      UK has full diplomatic relations with Cuba, as does EU. Do you understand what diplomatic is? To give you a clue, its not the piece of paper you got from fifth grade-wait a minute, Mac, is that you?

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't lump the UK in with the crazy US policy.  Of course, had the US restored ties to Cuba the current regime would have toppled decades ago.

  8. Anonymous says:

    As far as I recall only one CI Government has made any kind of overtures to Cuba in order to establish partnerships between Caymanian and Cuban tourism – that was a past UDP Government. Say what you will about McKeeva Bush's leadership style and his very poor judgement regarding the card usage (among other criticisms), at least he has consistently displayed pro-active stances on various matters. Of course, as is normal in Caymanian politics, no succeeding Government will retain any programs or measures started by a previous one, especially if it is the "other side", so any preliminary progress we may have achieved by his efforts in that direction has long been lost. 

    Cuban resorts will benefit earlier from the US gradual relaxation of trade embargos, and eventually the beautiful Havana infrastructure will catch up. I say Cayman has about 5 years to get in bed with Cuban toruism officials in order to get a little taste of their soon-to-be-cut pie. After that, the curiousity factor of US tourists alone towards Cuba will stifle our own. To say nothing of our own rising crime and continued high costs! Now its the banks pulling out then the hotels. God help us then!

     

    • CaymanM16 says:

      Oh no … you can't have a loud bombastic Caymanian leader who is aggressive in pursuing economic development  behind the FCO's back !  Let's do a witch hunt and lay charges on him and this will spoil Cayman's financial advantages even more when it is reported in the news, and then we can continue to make Cayman into our Retirement retreat.

      BREAKING NEWS:  MCKEEVA HAS GOT OFF ALL CHARGES /  FORMER GOVERNOR LEFT FOR MEXICO /  LOOKING FORWARD FOR NEXT GENERAL ELECTIONS WHEN STRONGER TIES BETWEN CAYMAN AND CUBA WILL BE MADE ENSURING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE!

      Is the PPM courageous enough to follow sinq? 

  9. Anonymous says:

    How timely and brilliant the lifting of embargo and sanctions on our next door neighbor, Cuba!.  A Cuba Libre is exciting to contemplate – thanks to President Barack Obama, Pope Francis and Canadians, all who engineered this great diplomatic coup.This legacy of our President has been longtime coming, but will prove to be enduring – at least as long as Cuba leased Gitmo Bay to the US 100 years ago for US$2,000 per YEAR, as a coal refueling station for the US Navy, not a prison for torturing Middle Easternerscaught in GW Bush's two ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   Fidel Castro's Revolution never cashed the US rent checks, and hopefully Guantanamo Bay will be reunited with the rest of that island as the two Germanys, East and West were reunited at the downfall of Communism in 1989, and perhaps as the two Koreas – South and North – will be reunited in the future, notwithstanding the odd tyranny of the Kims in that foreboding place. Meanwhile Caymans will be witness to change in the beloved Caribbean.  What a fine New Year this shall be!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic.  No more need for a cruise dock. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Cuba will rise again but it won't be like the 1950s the work force of Cubans are more educated today than they were in 1950 so there will be less need for foreign labour and manualipations of their systems in general. 

     

    • Anonymous says:

      The machines will rise too. And the Chinese. What about the Russians? Cayman will pretend all is ok

  12. Anonymous says:

    The doomdayers and the negative people love any opportunity to sensationalize and scare people every cance they get, however all they are really doing is showig us their ignorance from being totally misinformed and totally out of touch with reality.

    1. The embargo has not been lifted and it will take an act of congress to approve.

    2. Free travel of the US public is NOT included.

    3. Obama has just destroyed any chane of the Democrats winning he next election.

    4. Historically winning Florida is critical in winning any election.

    5. Ths is great news for the cruise lines because they will be able to create more cruising products that will also include Cayman.

    6. No cruise line will have a five Cuban ports per week cruise th no other destinations.

    7. No Cuban port can handle six to eight crue ships per day like Cayman can in winter.

    8. Cayman will benefit and Roatan should really be worried.

    9. Cayman is fortunately to be geographically well located on the seven day weekly cruise voyage rotation from Miami and Fort Lauderale.

    10. And a host of other reasons too numerous to list.

    Now "wake up and smell the coffee" and be a practical realist and a responsible contributor to our community.

    • caymanian to the bone says:

      Hey your points are pointless!  By removing the embargo, my friend, more than 11 million people will have economic opportunities to better their lives. If you are against the Pope and Obama then you are against millions of people having a better economic conditions?  Of course Castro brothers will remain and continue to torture a number of people!  But so does China, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia yet American / UK businesses are liasing with these countries!  By opposing the efforts of Obama and the Pope, you are actually slapping 11 million innocent and hungry people in the face. Has not 50 years of economic sanction worse a torture over the numbers of persecuted under the Cuban government?  Has this 50 year policy freed cuban society … no it hasn't.  Bro, you must have a heart for the countless of million of people there?  Are you prepared with Rubio to impose more sanctions on theses people and say its hurting Castro and your helping them??? …  Or correct me if I'm wrong, is it because you don't like Obama for political or race reasons?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well most of what you are saying is right, Cayman will benefit for sure just because more ships will be in the area and not everyone will want to go to Cuba, about the hability to handle the ships? You should know that Cuba has, as per today, 4 cruise terminals, Isla of pines, Cienfuegos Bay, Santiago de Cuba Bay and Habana covering north and south routes. Habana terminal can docked  6 ships at the same time right now and considering that when Castro wants something it gets done… well if Cruise company ask him he will have 10 more terminals in a month…. remember they just did a 1 billion dollars cargo terminal in a few months.

    • Anonymous says:

      What you been smoking? That is complete BS. When Cuba opens up our tourist industry will die.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Cuba has had tourism for a long time. Americans will go out of curiosity but it will be a long time before the place is all that attractive. It's full of Cubans after all.

      • Anonymous says:

        What have you been snorting for you must be high on something. talk about BS ??????

        Ignorance is bliss.

  13. Anonymous believer says:

    The begining of the end for these islands and at a time when our financial industry is being given away by the good ole byes and our tourism industry in jepoardy because we have greed and nepotism now incharge. Cayman's future looking mighty grim ???? No worries Cayman we still have Crime & Drugs and Madame Killpaddy and Senor Beans to keep us going. with them for us who can stop us from becoming a failed territory.Dark days ahead Cayman dark days ahead.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Cuba is still many Billions and many years away from entertaining tourists on the scale and to the standard that Cayman now offers.  Sure there will be some curious American tourists that will go there to take an early peak, just as many now go to China to see the great wall.  But like China, there has been no regime change, nor human rights apologies, nor declaration of free market democracy.  Rest assured, from a tourist appeal standpoint, it will still suck there for quite awhile yet.

    • caymanian to the bone says:

      lol …far from entertaining tourist???  you don't know what you're talking about!  Have you been to Cuba?!

      • Anonymous says:

        Every year thousands of tourists fly to Cuba from Canada, the UK and Europe to stay in hotels and resorts that make the Cayman Islands look positively third-world. Right now an all-inclusive (flights from Gatwick, transfers, all meals and drinks included) seven-day holiday at the Blau Varadero is around U$1000 per person. I've been there and done it – there's no way we can compete with that.

  15. Knot S Smart says:

    This is a sad day for Cayman…

    Imagine.

    The cruise ship 'tour-asses' with a ' wet t-shirt on their backs and five US dollars in their pockets'  that usually come to Cayman  – will now go to Cuba, and the haggered and hungry Cuban refugees that usually come to Cayman – will now go to America…

     

  16. Jonas Dwyer says:

    The writing has been on the wall for years and successive Cayman Piliticians and Civil Servants have failed to create alternative strategies. On many occasions it has neen proposed to successive Governments to create a dual destination Accoord  with Cuba for European Tourism, but no these egotistical swell heads no Savy people feared that they would be calked communist or could not see the trees fom the forest. Now the time has come and we are certainly flat footed  and solely unprepared. What a shame. There may be a window of opportunity but will these politicians listen, time will tell.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well you would have to have leaders with vision, intelligence and leadership skills, all three things sadly lacking in this and the previous administration.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Kiss the tourism industry goodbye. Whatever we donow the Cayman Islands will never be able to complete with the foreign investment that will pour into Cuba once the doors are fully opened to the USA.  

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Thankfully, visiting the Cayman Islands is in another category, and broadly speaking, already a quantumly-improved experience to visiting Cuba.  So long as we remember who we are and who we should be catering to, and try not to emulate Bermuda, or Jamaica, or Cuba, or Honduras, or Mexico, it promises to be for years to come.     

      • Anonymous says:

        But Cuba is cheaper and whatever you may think the hotels and resorts are light-years ahead of anything in the Cayman Islands when it comes to catering for foreign tourists. What you are saying goes back to the old argument that we should concentrate on 'high-end' tourism, which is complete BS because it's not where the money is.    

  18. Anonymous says:

    I suggest that the Cayman Islands Government & Department of Tourism take a careful note of this new development. Many American tourists will flock to Cuba and so will many of the cruise ships as well. Time to get our ass into full gear with our cruise berthing facility, our airport expansion and a more enhanced delivery of our tourism product. You will not see Cuban refugees traveling through Cayman Waters anymore as they will have lot's of jobs in their tourism sector and other industries coming on line; once Cuba fully opens up for business. 

    Cuba will once again become the Las Vegas of the Caribbean as it was in the 1950's. 

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Not for some time, dear chap, long way to go yet. Plenty of time for CIG to get their house in order and completely screw it up.

      • Anonymous says:

        They've been screwing it on for the last 30yrs I doubt there's even a head left.