About time: U.S., Cuba normalizing relations

congressTalk about something that was long overdue. The U.S. and Cuba are finally, after 53 years, taking steps to normalize relations.

To be clear here, Cuba needs the U.S. more than the U.S. needs Cuba, with Cuba’s biggest benefactors, Venezuela and Russia, hemorrhaging money due to the sharp decline in oil prices, making Cuba’s historically weak economy that much weaker in the midst of changes in the communist regime’s efforts to inject some private market forces into the island nation’s commerce mix.

But in that was an open door that the Obama administration deftly played to U.S. advantage. Cold War-era tensions between the neighbors played out in the form of economic sanctions have been the stick to try to get Cuba to correct its course politically, but now was time to hold out the carrot of economic relationships as a way to bring Cuba into the fold.

Hard-liners like Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez can crow all day and into the night about what they want to term a disastrous move on the part of the Obama team, but this is clearly the right move and the right time. As in the 1960s, Cuba sitting 90 miles off the Florida Keys can be a threat to security in the Western Hemisphere, but normalizing diplomatic relations and eventually building economic ties between the two countries will lessen and eventually remove that threat.

– Column by Chris Graham

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press news