Why Obama was right to give Cuba a 'full bailout'

Cubans
(Image credit: (Spencer Platt/Getty Images))

In 2004, then-State Sen. Barack Obama was asked about the half-century-old economic and political embargo of Cuba. He said, "I think it's time for us to end the embargo in Cuba — the Cuban embargo has failed to provide the sorts of rising standards of living and has squeezed the innocents in Cuba and utterly failed in the efforts to overthrow Castro, who has now been there since I was born, so it is time for us to acknowledge that this particular policy is available."

During the darkest days of his presidency, during the lost years of 2013 and 2014, you would probably be right to assume that President Obama would sneak off to an imaginary world inside his head and fantasize about the day when he'd be able to announce that the embargo was over, that the United States and Cuba were restoring diplomatic relations, and that years of secret negotiations had secured the release of an imprisoned American spy and an American aid worker. Indeed, if the "normalization" goes well, Obama might well burnish his legacy. You can question his judgment here, but if you want to know his motivation, look no further than the first paragraph of this post.

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