(The Washington Post) – In the wake of President Obama’s historic decision to mend diplomatic ties with Cuba, U.S. businesses and potential tourists scrambled to figure out what new opportunities will be available on the island and to position themselves at the head of the line.
The political conversation sparked by Obama’s Wednesday announcement grew in both volume and dogmatism. Some hailed the opening as the dawn of pragmatic diplomacy. Others denounced it as a presidential sellout.
In news conferences and briefings, the administration provided details of what the new policy means. Trade and tourism will expand, as soon as new regulations can be published in the Federal Register, but the half-century trade embargo will continue to limit both unless Congress decides to lift it.
Reestablishment of formal diplomatic relations, while approved by both countries, requires a formal process that will begin with the visit to Havana next month of Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, who is heading the U.S. delegation for previously scheduled talks on migration.