The historic opening of US-Cuban relations marks a major reversal of cold war era policies that maintained sanctions on undemocratic nations. Was it a misstep or long overdue, and will the US take a softer approach with rogue nations in the future?
On December 17th, 2014, the Obama administration shocked the nation when the White House issued a statement saying that the US was “changing its relationship with the people of Cuba.” The President later remarked in the year’s State of the Union Address, “In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date. When what you’re doing doesn’t work for 50 years, it’s time to try something new.” What should they be trying now?
Rock’n’Roll translated to rebellion and youth. Future and Freedom. It often meant freedom from the “establishment”, the conservative parents, the partially reactionary West-German society of the 1980s, writes Lia Maiello. David Gilmour, Iggy Pop, Joe Elliott, Jimi Hendrix, Debbie Harry, Kurt Cobain and David Bowie – those are the heroes of my youth!
Throughout spring 2016, the news coverage on war-torn Syria had been without doubt overwhelmingly dominated by the strong symbolic message sent by the Damascene regime by gaining ground against Islamic State as it recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra in the Syrian desert. Within the broader picture, the incident also provides valuable insight into a less tangible strategic enterprise of Russia.
Despite his conservative critics, Obama’s opening to Cuba is as significant as Nixon’s opening to China in 1972. The arguments against this step forward just don’t pass muster.
President Obama seeks to strengthen his historical legacy by reaching out to Cuba, but can he succeed where Presidents Ford and Carter have failed?