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December 17, 2014

Details of the Unilateral Executive Cuba Deal

Some good, some bad.

Loosened travel restrictions

...

A dozen different licenses allow Americans to travel to Cuba, and requirements for getting them will be relaxed....

Authorized travelers will also be able to use their U.S. credit and debit cards in Cuba, something not previously allowed. That could make it much easier for people to go to Cuba.

Bringing back goods

...

Under the new rules, authorized visitors will be allowed to bring back $400 worth of goods -- including $100 worth of alcohol and tobacco products combined. In the past, it has been illegal to bring back any of Cuba’s famed cigars and rum.

...


Sending money

It will be easier for people in the U.S. to send money to Cuba under the changes....

Billions already are sent annually by Cubans living in the United States....

Human rights

Republicans are ripping the deal for doing little to improve human rights in Cuba. The White House appears to have dropped its opposition to a Cuban presence at the 2015 summit of the Americas in Panama, but says has that Cuban civil society “must be allowed” to participate.

Meh.

I'm not sure I really care. The previous policy, whether the right policy or not, has not yet toppled the Castro regime. I think this new policy will almost certainly increase the chances the Castro regime continues, near to mid-term, but I think we're talking about increasing the chances from 98% to 98%, so I'm not especially bothered.

I supported the anti-Castro plank because the Republican-voting Cuban exiles in Florida wanted me to. But lately, they seem to voting for Democrats, and they don't seem to care about the Cuba embargo as much.

So I guess I don't really have any incentive to continue to support a policy I was only supporting as a favor to a political ally.

Below, Marco Rubio tears Obama as the worst negotiator in the modern era, noting that Obama got "nothing" out of this deal -- no structural undertakings towards freedom on Cuba's behalf -- except freeing 53 political prisoners. (Who could be re-imprisoned in a week.)


Update: Jeb Bush leaps to say how much he despises "the Castro brothers."

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posted by Ace at 03:54 PM

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