Castro asks, Obama delivers.
- Ease sanctions -- check.
- Prisoner swap -- check.
- Remove Cuba from state-sponsors of terrorism list -- check.
- Find Castro a U.S. bank to process payments -- check.
- Seek to "change" U.S. democracy programs -- check.
- Skirt U.S. law in the process -- check.
Below are (at least) three remaining obstacles placed by the Castro regime, in contravention of international law, for the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Will Obama shamefully give in (yet again)?
Don't hold your breath.
From USA Today:
After months of negotiations, American and Cuban diplomats will meet in Washington on Thursday to try and finalize a deal to reopen embassies in each country's capital after 54 years of diplomatic isolation.
Mauricio Claver-Carone, executive director of the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC, which opposed Obama's decision to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba, pointed to three possible sticking points in the negotiations that could delay a deal:
•Diplomatic travel. Diplomats from both countries already work and live in each other's capitals, where they conduct basic consular services such as processing visas. But the diplomats are restricted from traveling. Cuban officials generally cannot travel outside the Washington Beltway, a freeway that circles Washington, D.C., and parts of northern Virginia. American officials are mostly restricted to the boundaries of Havana. Both sides want the restrictions lifted.
•Package inspections. The U.S. side wants to end the Cuban practice of inspecting or intercepting diplomatic packages sent to American officials in Cuba.
•Police presence. The Americans want the Cubans to remove the dozens of government police officers who surround the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, a security cordon that they say dissuades many Cubans from trying to enter the building.
Claver-Carone said no other U.S. embassy operates under such conditions, so accepting a deal that maintains any of them would be a disappointment. "If (the Obama administration) accepts those things in order just to raise the flag, then it's pretty clear that this is all about a photo (opportunity) and not about the pursuit of a cohesive, constructive policy," he said.