[Marxism] The one good thing that came out of Obama's two terms
lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Oct 15 07:52:31 MDT 2016
NY Times, Oct. 15 2016
Obama, Cementing New Ties With Cuba, Lifts Limits on Cigars and Rum
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
WASHINGTON — President Obama on Friday moved to cement his
administration’s historic opening with Cuba by issuing a sweeping
directive that will last beyond his presidency, setting forth a new
United States policy to lift the Cold War trade embargo and end a
half-century of clandestine plotting against Cuba’s government.
The action formalizes the shift toward normalization that the president
unveiled nearly two years ago with the announcement that he and
President Raúl Castro of Cuba had secretly agreed to repair their
Mr. Obama on Friday also made what aides said were likely his final
major modifications to loosen United States sanctions on Cuba before
leaving office, including lifting the $100 limit on bringing Cuban rum
and cigars into the United States.
It is Mr. Obama’s latest use of executive power to press forward in the
face of lingering opposition in Congress to repealing the embargo, this
time through a 12-page document that essentially transforms what has
been a presidential priority into a set of official mandates that will
shape United States policy toward Cuba for decades.
It would take another directive by a future president to reverse the
move, but Mr. Obama’s top advisers argued that it would be difficult for
a successor to cancel a set of policy changes that are reshaping the way
Americans travel to and do business with Cuba.
“This directive takes a comprehensive and whole-of-government approach
to promote engagement with the Cuban government and people, and make our
opening to Cuba irreversible,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.
“Challenges remain — and very real differences between our governments
persist on issues of democracy and human rights — but I believe that
engagement is the best way to address those differences and make
progress on behalf of our interests and values.”
The policy directive was notable because it was public instead of
“We are not seeking to impose regime change on Cuba,” Mr. Obama said,
asserting that “the embargo is outdated and should be lifted.”
As if to underscore a stark shift from decades of United States policy
toward Cuba, which were marked by spying and suspicion, the document
specifically requires that American-led “democracy programs” — which the
Castro government has denounced as secret efforts to destabilize the
country — be “transparent.”
“The United States used to have secret plans for Cuba; now our policy is
fully out in the open and online for everyone to see and read,” Susan E.
Rice, the national security adviser, said at a speech in Washington on
Friday. "What you see is what you get.”
The sanctions eased on Friday were the sixth round of regulatory changes
announced by the Treasury and Commerce Departments aimed at easing
travel to Cuba as well as trade and commerce between the United States
and the island nation.
The actions built on a series of milestones with Cuba as Mr. Obama’s
tenure draws to a close. Last month, he nominated the first United
States ambassador to Cuba in more than 50 years, following the reopening
last year of embassies in Washington and Havana. The first direct
commercial flight from the United States reached Cuba in August.
More information about the Marxism