Over the weekend, as the Summit of the Americas was wrapping up, President Obama emphasized how pleased he is to launch “a new relationship between the people of the United States and the people of Cuba.” Obama added, “[T]he United States will not be imprisoned by the past. We’re looking to the future and to policies that improve the lives of the Cuban people and advance the interests of cooperation in the hemisphere.”
This wasn’t just rhetoric. The White House is evidently quite serious about turning the page on the failed foreign policy the United States stuck to for far too long.
The White House says President Barack Obama is removing Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, a key step in President Barack Obama’s bid to normalize relations between the two countries. […]Obama made the final decision following a State Department review of Cuba’s presence on the list. The U.S. has long since stopped actively accusing Cuba of supporting terrorism.
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor, said on Twitter, “Put simply, POTUS is acting to remove Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list because Cuba is not a State Sponsor of Terrorism.”
Ben, there’s no reason to drag logic into this.
The president’s Republican detractors will very likely complain bitterly about the shift, not because Cuba sponsors terrorism, but because, well, just because.
It’s worth emphasizing, though, that the dramatic shift in the U.S. position enjoys support from a majority of Americans. a majority of Cuban Americans, and a majority of Cubans themselves. What’s more, American allies are delighted to see the new U.S. policy towards Cuba, as is much of Latin America, which routinely criticized the failed American policy.