18 December 2014 - US and Cuba to normalise relations
Secret diplomacy with Cuba ends in breakthrough deal
Karen DeYoung (The Chicago Tribune)
The United States and Cuba ended more than a half-century of enmity Wednesday, announcing that they would reestablish diplomatic relations and begin dismantling the last pillar of the Cold War.
The historic move, following 18 months of secret negotiations and finally made possible by Cuba's release of detained U.S. aid contractor Alan Gross, fulfilled one of President Barack Obama's key second-term goals.
The decision is likely to reverberate across many political frontiers where the standoff between Washington and Havana has played a role — including across much of Latin America, where U.S. policy on Cuba has long been a source of friction.
"These 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked," Obama said in a televised, midday address. "It's time for a new approach."
Manuel Roig-Franzia (The Washington Post)
The Cold War died Wednesday.
Its death was foretold, yet somehow it still came as a shock.
It didn’t expire on a bayside battlefield in the Caribbean or with a mushroom cloud or even with an exploding cigar. It perished at a White House podium.
The prisoner swap that set Alan Gross free — and the sweeping changes to U.S. policy on Cuba that went with it — won’t heal all wounds, nor will it vanguish the powerful cold warriors in the U.S. Congress. But it did fundamentally alter a curio of American foreign policy that deeply influenced popular culture and played an outsize role in U.S. presidential politics for more than half a century.
In April 1959, Richard Nixon was unimpressed with the bearded revolutionary in green fatigues who arrived at his office. Fidel Castro’s “ideas as to how to run a government or an economy are less developed than those of almost any world figure I have met in fifty countries,” Nixon, then the U.S. vice president, wrote in a memo declassified in 2001...
Ledyard King (USA Today)
WASHINGTON — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio vowed Wednesday to block confirmation of anyone who might be nominated as U.S. ambassador to Cuba, saying President Obama's plan to normalize relations with the Castro regime is "an illusion."
"I reserve the right to do everything within the rules of the Senate to prevent that sort of individual from ever even coming up for a vote," Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants and a possible 2016 presidential candidate, fumed to CNN Wednesday.
His pledge typified reactions to the White House announcement from GOP lawmakers. They decried Obama's plan as a sop to Cuban President Raúl Castro and his repressive government and pledged to take action to neutralize it after the 114th Congress convenes next year.
Rory Carroll (The Guardian)
Raúl Castro has hailed the dramatic transformation in relations with the United States as an opportunity for closer ties and a “more prosperous and sustainable socialism” in Cuba.
The Cuban president welcomed the end of more than half a century of hostility between the two countries in a televised speech broadcast on Wednesday simultaneously with Barack Obama’s address in Washington.
Castro, seated at a desk and wearing military uniform, said the breakthrough was an initiative by the US president and reflected a desire to advance mutual interests. “This decision of President Obama deserves the respect and acknowledgement of our people.”
However, he signalled that full reconciliation and normalisation would come only after the US lifted its economic embargo of the island.
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"18 December 2014 - US and Cuba to normalise relations", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), décembre 2014. Consulté le 07/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2014/18-december-2014-us-and-cuba-to-normalise-relations