Wednesday, December 17, 2014

US, Cuba to swap prisoners, improve relations; prisoner in Cuba had tried to introduce Internet access


There is some “better” news this morning.  President Obama will announced at noon Wednesday that the United States and Cuba will swap prisoners.  Particularly, Alan Gross, who had been jailed for trying to provide Internet access (with cell phones and computers) to a particular Jewish community in Cuba, will be released.  The CNN story is here

Gross had told Wolf Blitzer that he was a hostage, not a prisoner. 
      
Apparently there will be some loosening of relations between the United States and Cuba, probably including easing travel restrictions (link ).  Hopefully Cuba will slowly modernize.

However, things have changed since the Cold War, and younger Cubans may look at a policy change differently than those born before Castro.

Some conservatives say that Obama is giving in to "extortion" in releasing spies in US prison. Others say that the spies did not have a fair trial in Miami. 
      
It is quite dangerous for some of us, me included, to travel to totalitarian countries like Cuba, or many others.  Imagine how that slows down humanitarian work. 
   
In 2005, Andy Garcia directed a film “The Lost City” (Magnolia), about family loyalty in Cuba at the time that Communists were taking over. In 1962, of course, we experienced the Cuban Missile Crisis. 
   
Wikipedia attribution link for map of Cuba .

CNN has the only UD correspondent (Patrick Oppman) in Cuba.


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