Dec 18 2014

Analysis of Renewed US Diplomatic Relations with Cuba, Human Rights Violations and Racism

Feature Stories | Published 18 Dec 2014, 10:05 am | Comments Off on Analysis of Renewed US Diplomatic Relations with Cuba, Human Rights Violations and Racism -

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The US restores diplomatic relations with Cuba in a historic move that surprised everyone. After more than 50 years the US will establish an embassy in Cuba. Still, the embargo that has debilitated Cuba’s economy will remain in place – for now. We’ll speak with Bill Fletcher Jr. about the significance of this thawing of relations with Cuba and much more.

The US yesterday made an historic announcement on its relationship with Cuba. After more than 50 years, the US will restore diplomatic relations with the island nation that lies less a 100 miles off the coast of the United States. The US will also establish an embassy in Havana. The move includes a prisoner swap, and is apparently the culmination of 18 months of secret talks hosted by Canada.

President Obama said in a nationally televised statement, “We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries.”

In addition to making it easier for Cuban Americans to send remittances back to relatives in Cuba, the move includes easing travel and banking restrictions. However, the decades long embargo imposed by the US against Cuba will remain in place, for now. President Obama has indicated that he wants “an honest and serious debate” about it.

The President also made news yesterday for giving People Magazine a candid interview about a topic that is both personal and political. Mr Obama and his wife, the First Lady Michelle Obama, described several incidents where they personally experienced day-to-day racism, often being mistaken for being “the help.” Despite the fact that US leadership often criticizes other countries for human rights violations and oppressing the rights of minorities, race relations in the US have come under an international spotlight in the wake of brutal police killings of African Americans that have gone un-punished. Today, drawing a line from the national to the international is my guest, Bill Fletcher Jr.

GUEST: Bill Fletcher Jr., columnist for BlackCommentator.com, former president of TransAfrica Forum.

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