Tag Archive for diplomacy

How JFK pursued the ‘sweet approach’ to Cuba

At a conference on the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission report in Washington in September, Cuba scholar Peter Kornbluh gave a fascinating talk on how President Kennedy pursued the idea of normalizing relations with Cuba in the spring of 1963.

In the State Department this was known as “the sweet approach,” Kornbluh says. The idea was to lure Fidel Castro out of his alliance with the Soviet Union instead of overthrowing him. Read more

Play ball: Obama and Castro at the ballpark

The somewhat extraordinary final day of President Obama’s historic visit to Cuba was eclipsed by news of the attacks in Brussels, First there was the  joint Obama-Castro news conference in which the Cuban leader actually had the novel experience of having to answer freely asked questions. Then there was the overlooked story that those notorious communist sympathizers at Google have agreed to provide the country with cheap and fast Internet, confirming fatuous Newt Gingrich’s point that President Obama is a suspected traitor, or something like that. Finally, there was a feel-good photo op: a baseball game between the Cuban national team and the Tampa Bay Rays, which Obama described accurately as, well, “somewhat extraordinary.”

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Obama prepares for the future as critics dwell on the past

Fidel Castro will be 90 in August; Raúl is just five years younger. At some point in the not-too-distant future, we will see whether Castroism can survive without a living Castro. Anyone who wants U.S. policymakers to have influence when that question arises should applaud Obama’s initiatives.

Source: Obama’s visit will hasten freedom in Cuba – The Washington Post

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Obama to jettison the goal of ‘regime change’ in Cuba

While Obama will not shy away from discussing human rights, “the difference here is that in the past, because of certain U.S. policies, the message that was delivered in that regard either overtly or implicitly suggested that the United States was seeking to pursue regime change . . . or the United States thought we could dictate the direction of Cuba,” Rhodes said.

Source: Obama’s goal for Cuba trip: Become a source of support – The Washington Post

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JFK assassination aborted U.S. reconciliation with Cuba

From the Sierra Leone Times: Kennedy assassination aborted U.S. reconciliation with Cuba. Read more

Obama to Cuba: who benefits? 

Only the majority of people in both countries.

Cuban-Americans, who increasingly favor Obama’s Cuba policy in general, have tended to oppose his intentions to visit the Caribbean state. A survey made on December 17, 2015, by Bendixen & Amandi International, a Hispanic and multicultural research firm, found that 56 percent of Cuban-Americans agree with Obama’s normalization of ties between the two countries and 53 percent think the U.S. embargo on Cuba should not continue

Source: Obama to Cuba: Who Benefits? | COHA

Kerry in Havana: the JFK backstory

Kerry and JFK in 1962

John Kerry, right, watching a sailboat race in August 1962 with President Kennedy, seated on the left.

Fifty three summers ago, John Kerry was sixteen years old. He went sailing with the president of the United States. In 2013, John Kerry became Secretarytof State and expressed some doubts about the Warren Commission’s much-criticized theory of JFK’s assassination.

Now that Kerry has restored normal relations with Cuba, the time has come for both governments to disclose all they know about the events of 1963.

From Cuba to Iran: Obama claims JFK’s legacy

Obama at AU

President Obama speaks at American University, August 5, 2015

In a “blunt” speech at American University, President Obama “aggressively” defended the international agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program by invoking the daring diplomacy of President John F. Kennedy.

The polemical fire in Obama’s address targeted the many critics of the deal who supported the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003. The setting invoked JFK’s “strategy of peace” speech, delivered on the same campus in June 1963. The analogy of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal to JFK’s Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty took up much of the speech.

But the historical strength of Obama’s argument came from another source: Read more

The case for a U.S.-Cuba truth commission

ICYMI; Time for a U.S.-Cuba Truth Commission.

The mission of this commission would be to document, with fear or favor, the most violent episodes in the secret war between the United States and Cuba from 1959 to 2008.


A truth commission could help pave the road to normal U.S.-Cuba relations

As the United States and Cuba prepare to open embassies in Havana and Washington on Monday, the The Washington Post reports:

The two governments have made clear that opening their embassies is only the first step on a long road to “normalization” and that they have many remaining differences on issues including the ongoing U.S. economic embargo, human rights and outstanding legal claims against each other.

One trait the two governments have in common is the practice of extraordinary official secrecy around records related to the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 and the many U.S.-based assassination attempts against Cuban president Fidel Castro. Read more

U-S.-Cuba relations continue to warm

Along with growing signs that U.S. and Cuban embassies are set to open soon—a move that will boost our diplomatic influence in the region—there’ve been more than a few signs that the U.S.-Cuba relationship is moving forward and not looking back.

Source: #CubaNow Briefing: U-S.-Cuba Relations Warm Up Going Into Summer. Read more

As Washington and Havana parley, a former CIA analyst raises JFK questions

The CIA has credible information implicating seven Cuban government officials in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 that it has never made public, according to Brian Latell, a retired agency analyst.

Brian Latell

Brian Latell, former CIA analyst

“The Kennedy assassination should be added to the agenda for official Cuban-American negotiations,” Latell recently told JFK Facts. A retired CIA employee who served as the agency’s National Intelligence Officer for Cuba from 1990 to 1994, Latell  first made the allegations in his 2013 book, Castro’s Secrets. He elaborated on his views in an email interview.

Latell’s allegations come at a turning point in U.S.-Cuba relations.


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Obama completes the journey that JFK began

Presidents Castro and Obama. (Photo: MWC News)

This was the moment President John F. Kennedy was angling for 52 years ago: reconciliation between the United States and Cuba.

President Obama met yesterday with Cuban president Raul Castro, the first face to face meeting of the country’s leaders since the mid-20th century. Obama said “Cuba is not a threat to the United States.” His appearance was condemned by Obama’s Republican critics just as JFK’s Cuba policy was condemned by his opponents.

Ideological polemics notwithstanding, Kennedy was no hawk on Cuba.  Read more

Did JFK have a vendetta against Castro?

A reader writes:
“From what I remember of the James Douglass book, JFK and the Unspeakable, JFK was a champion of F. That was a threat to institutions like the CIA. The CIA took his convictions so seriously they had to assassinate him. But…

JFK, Obama, and the coming end of the Cuba embargo

In a new piece JFK and the Cuban Embargo, Jacob Hornberger connects Obama’s Cuba diplomacy to JFK’s Cuba diplomacy of 50 years ago:

“Already, we’re hearing that President Obama is a traitor, that he is surrendering America to Fidel Castro and the communists, and betraying the Cuban people and the cause of freedom and democracy for wanting to lift the 54-year-old Cold War-era U.S. embargo against Cuba.”

“That is precisely the way that the national-security establishment felt about Kennedy and actually much worse.”


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