The Cuban Relations Crisis
Big news out of Havana today. CNN reports, “U.S. contractor Alan Gross, held by the Cuban government since 2009, was freed Wednesday as part of a landmark deal with Cuba that paves the way for a major overhaul in U.S. policy toward the island.” After the first presidential communication with Cuba since the revolution there, CNN says, “President Obama announced a major loosening of travel and economic restrictions on the country. And the two nations are set to re-open embassies, with preliminary discussions on that next step in normalizing diplomatic relations beginning in the coming weeks.” The U.S. also reportedly released three Cuban prisoners. According to The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzalez, however, “Congress must make it very clear to Obama that he does not have the authority to lift the embargo on Cuba on his own. Doing so would break U.S. law, namely the Helms-Burton Act.” It would seem he’s freshly emboldened after facing little opposition for changing immigration law.
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