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posted by Blackmoore on Thursday December 18 2014, @10:41PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the pigs-flying-in-a-bay dept.

Peter Baker reports at the NYT that in a deal negotiated during 18 months of secret talks hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis, the United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century. In addition, the United States will ease restrictions on remittances, travel and banking relations, and Cuba will release 53 Cuban prisoners identified as political prisoners by the United States government.

Although the decades-old American embargo on Cuba will remain in place for now, the administration signaled that it would welcome a move by Congress to ease or lift it should lawmakers choose to. “We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. It does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse.

We know from hard-learned experience that it is better to encourage and support reform than to impose policies that will render a country a failed state,” said the White House in a written statement. "The United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people."

Related Stories

Netflix Launches in Cuba 10 comments

Netflix to Cuba: Bienvenida, Cuba!

Netflix is coming to Cuba. Despite only 26% of Cubans having access to an internet connection, and a slow connection at that, Netflix is trying to secure the first mover advantage in an opening market.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/02/09/netflix-cuba/23134419/

Netflix launches in Cuba

In a press release, Netflix has just announced that they will be offering streaming service in Cuba, as diplomatic relations between the island country and the United States thaw.

Starting today, people in Cuba with Internet connections and access to international payment methods will be able to subscribe to Netflix and instantly watch a curated selection of popular movies and TV shows.

“We are delighted to finally be able to offer Netflix to the people of Cuba, connecting them with stories they will love from all over the world,” said Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings. “Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience of over 57 million members.”

This comes after the United States announced a resumption of diplomatic relations with Cuba, and subsequently an easing of the trade embargo that has been in place since 1962. The Internet in Cuba however is still very tightly controlled, and it seems few people there have the required connectivity to be able to use Netflix effectively.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Thursday December 18 2014, @10:52PM

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Thursday December 18 2014, @10:52PM (#127301) Journal

    "Assume the position"

    --
    You're betting on the pantomime horse...
    • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Thursday December 18 2014, @10:54PM

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Thursday December 18 2014, @10:54PM (#127302) Journal
      --
      You're betting on the pantomime horse...
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Thursday December 18 2014, @10:56PM

        by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Thursday December 18 2014, @10:56PM (#127303) Journal

        But what does Cuba stand to gain, by normalizing relations with a serial human-rights abuser?

        --
        You're betting on the pantomime horse...
        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:05PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:05PM (#127305)

          It will make it easier to move there since you clearly think you would be better off there. Oh, that's right, when its time to put the rubber to the road, you'd rather stay in an apparent awful place like the US or UK than to actually live up to your claimed convictions and move somewhere else. Not so bad after all, now is it?

          • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:24PM

            by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:24PM (#127311) Journal

            Be seeing you.

            --
            You're betting on the pantomime horse...
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:59PM

            by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:59PM (#127327) Journal

            > since you clearly think you would be better off there.

             

            False premise. Bizarre invective. Derail real observations. Troll.

             

            --
            You're betting on the pantomime horse...
          • (Score: 2) by Subsentient on Friday December 19 2014, @01:34AM

            by Subsentient (1111) on Friday December 19 2014, @01:34AM (#127340) Homepage Journal

            Why the fuck is this moderated troll? I was just going to tell everyone to quit slamming the US in comparison to Cuba. That's stupid, and you're probably just doing it for mod points.

            --
            “Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal.” ― Robert A. Heinlein
            • (Score: 2) by Leebert on Friday December 19 2014, @03:26AM

              by Leebert (3511) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 19 2014, @03:26AM (#127367)

              Why the fuck is this moderated troll?

              Because someone couldn't find the (-1, Disagree) option and their fingers were too broken to reply with an insightful rebuttal.

            • (Score: 1) by drgibbon on Friday December 19 2014, @03:30AM

              by drgibbon (74) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 19 2014, @03:30AM (#127369) Journal

              Troll or not, it was irrelevant and didn't logically connect to the discussion. The original post claims that America is a serial human-rights abuser, and the AC response starts talking about "why don't you move to Cuba if the US is so bad hummm??". Yet nowhere in the original post was there a claim that America abuses the human rights of all its citizens carte blanche. The original poster (and many other Americans) may be living quite happily, but that doesn't bear on whether there are human rights abuses going on for certain groups of people in certain places, etc. What's more, Vegeta checked the power level of the social analysis "if you don't like it, then fuck off!" and the scouter returned zero.

              --
              Certified Soylent Fresh!
            • (Score: 4, Insightful) by q.kontinuum on Friday December 19 2014, @05:38AM

              by q.kontinuum (532) on Friday December 19 2014, @05:38AM (#127388) Journal

              Instead of worrying why many people around the world are more disappointed with US torture than with Cuba/China/North-Korean human rights problems, I'd be worried when they stop higher standards from the US. I am one of the people being deeply disappointed with the [lack of] consequences the torture during the past decade has in the US. Not because I expect Russia, China, Saudi-Arabia to be better and see US fall back in comparison, but because we were brought up to believe that western culture would be better, and now it turns out we can't be held to our own standards. That hurts. And it's sometimes quite difficult to *not* overreact and paint US as being equally bad or worse than the other countries mentioned.

              BTW: It's not only US at fault here. I'm from Germany, and our spying agencies and politicians worked together with the US, not only with the surveillance programs but also with the rendition-flights. I don't think our services or politicians are any better, only maybe less capable and less funded to pull it off by themselves.

              Unfortunately I'm not even convinced that the majority of Germans has a better attitude regarding torture. People are (often) intelligent. Masses of people are dumb and irrational. It would feel really good to lean back, point at the US in the comfortable believe to live among a nicer bunch of people here. But that would be a lie. We got work to do in our western culture. After that work is done we can go back to be proud of our culture, and then we can start the more pleasant task of acting as a beacon of humanity and preaching to those who lack these standards.

              --
              Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
              • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday December 19 2014, @08:28PM

                by HiThere (866) on Friday December 19 2014, @08:28PM (#127574) Journal

                That's not quite what's going on. People are selfish. Cuba conducts international relations by sending doctors, the US by sending troops, so the people being related to prefer Cuba. (China isn't so simple. Lots of people don't like China because they conduct relations by sending merchants and workers. But the people in power tend to like them.)

                In case you haven't noticed, I oversimplified a lot, but that's the basic shape of it. Bullies are rarely liked, even when nobody dares to challenge them.

                --
                Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
                • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Saturday December 20 2014, @09:10AM

                  by q.kontinuum (532) on Saturday December 20 2014, @09:10AM (#127703) Journal

                  What you are saying is a different perspective, from outside the western alliances. Might be a valid point as well, but is not directly related to my point of view from inside these alliances. It's quite some time ago that the US invaded Germany, in a time when it was probably justified, so my feelings are not influenced by any supposed hard feelings because of US being a bully towards us.

                  I also have the impression that many US-critical comments here come from western societies, probably from within the US itself. That's why I'd assume my position is not only mine, but relevant for many. Also I think it is the bigger threat for us all: We are losing our pride and our moral base from the inside. There is no relevant threat of our culture being attacked from the outside, but we seem to manage to destroy it from the inside.

                  --
                  Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:15PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:15PM (#127309) Journal

          Interesting question.
          Its not like the Cubans can afford anything in this country, they aren't likely to be buying much here. From their perspective, I just don't see the gain.

          There was mention of normalizing monetary flows, which is code for cuban immigrants in the US sending money home to relatives in Cuba. (This was always possible via devious routes through Mexico).

          I suppose they expect a huge rush of tourists eager to visit 1958. Some parts of Cuba have been popular with Canadian tourists, but I question whether the Cuban community in the US is going to be in any rush to return to possible prison sentences.

          But other than another prison emptying exercise [wikipedia.org] I just don't see why the Cubans would go for this, other than the "we wore them down" bragging rights.

          Similarly I see even less in this for the US. Other than another legacy building exercise. Both houses of congress and both parties are currently like warm on the whole thing.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:22PM

            by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:22PM (#127310) Journal

            The big deal is there is a fresh crop of new credit victims for the global-banking pyramid scheme. Fidel and Raoul's cronies will become wealthy - everyone will have a TV and a Hyundai - in exchange for their universally acclaimed standards for free, public healthcare.

            --
            You're betting on the pantomime horse...
          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday December 19 2014, @08:33PM

            by HiThere (866) on Friday December 19 2014, @08:33PM (#127579) Journal

            From Cuba's point of view it's a new market for cigars and sugar, located conveniently close. It's probably also going to become a tourist trap, just like it used to be. Tourists are a good source of cash.

            From the US point of view things are less clear. Cuba is much less important to the US than the US is to Cuba. So Cuba is going to need to be quite careful about what agreements it signs.

            --
            Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday December 19 2014, @09:52PM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 19 2014, @09:52PM (#127601) Journal

              Given that restoring old cars is all the rage these days, I would expect the Cubans could trade their old cars [google.com] for brand new ones, and maybe pocket some cash along the way.

              There is no reason to believe that Cuba is going to welcome a flood of american tourists with welcome arms, nor that they have enough facilities to do so, or the willingness to allow outside external companies to build resorts. They have some very nice resorts (chock full of Canadians), but a 10 minute walk from some of these can put you in squalled areas that make Mexico look like paradise.

              Still, its likely to be safer than Mexico.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Arik on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:29PM

          by Arik (4543) on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:29PM (#127313) Journal
          As long as it leads to ending the embargo, they gain a lot. Access to a huge market right next door for their two main products: alcohol and tobacco.

          That's also why this has yet to happen. And I am guessing that the Bacardi family must be in emergency mode right now trying to find some way to stop it still, along with a good percentage of Puerto Rico (where the closest substitutes for Cuban goods are produced, and where many producers are going to be severely inconvenienced if they have to compete against Cuban goods in the US market again.)
          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:34PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:34PM (#127315)

            PR at least doesn't have import taxes to bump up their prices.

            • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:49PM

              by Arik (4543) on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:49PM (#127324) Journal
              Cuba has skilled workers for every stage of producing Rum and Cigars who are happy to work for $25/month and a cut of pork as a bonus once a year. Along with the best climate in the world for producing those two goods.

              Puerto Rico is very close on the climate, but it's a lot smaller, and the cost of labor is a *LOT* higher.
              --
              If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 2) by redneckmother on Friday December 19 2014, @01:49AM

            by redneckmother (3597) on Friday December 19 2014, @01:49AM (#127342)

            "... their two main products: alcohol and tobacco."

            Damn! Time to unload my black market stocks of rum & cigars! This SUCKS!

            --
            Mas cerveza por favor.
        • (Score: 1) by Buck Feta on Friday December 19 2014, @12:18AM

          by Buck Feta (958) on Friday December 19 2014, @12:18AM (#127330) Journal

          > But what does Cuba stand to gain, by normalizing relations with a serial human-rights abuser?

          It's not as though Cuba is innocent in that department either.

          --
          - fractious political commentary goes here -
          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday December 19 2014, @12:57AM

            by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday December 19 2014, @12:57AM (#127336) Journal

            I don't think that Cuba has had anything as bad as Guantanamo in it's sovereign territory for the last 50 years.
            I may be wrong, but I'll want some indication beyond the accusatory rantings of exiled plantation owners who were rich off of near-slave labour under the old regime.

            --
            You're betting on the pantomime horse...
            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday December 19 2014, @02:29AM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 19 2014, @02:29AM (#127347) Journal
              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday December 19 2014, @02:37AM

                by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday December 19 2014, @02:37AM (#127349) Journal

                Yeah. No rectal re-hydration. No monsoon exposure without a roof.

                --
                You're betting on the pantomime horse...
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19 2014, @03:05AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19 2014, @03:05AM (#127359)

                wcl.american.edu/hrbrief/v7i3/prison.htm

                In some ways, that sounds as bad as the treatment Bradley Manning got or that received by e.g. Pelican Bay SHU inmates.

                The political prisoners thing has me wondering what qualifies.
                From what I have read, Cuban politics are quite open to ideas.
                To run for office, you don't have to belong to any party (much less THE party of so many so-called "Communist" countries).

                -- gewg_

            • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday December 19 2014, @02:44AM

              by Thexalon (636) on Friday December 19 2014, @02:44AM (#127352)

              What is definitely true is that immediately after the Revolution, a lot of people were executed without all the niceties of public trial. Che Guevera carried out quite a few of them personally, and wrote about how he felt after shooting people in the head.

              There's not a lot of evidence that Cuba was much worse than anybody else in Latin America in regards to their human rights abuses, though. Many of the most notorious regimes during that period were brutal, the best known examples being Chile under Pinochet, the Nicaraguan contras, and El Salvador's junta. And a lot of those groups got their backing and training from Washington DC.

              --
              The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
              • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday December 19 2014, @06:41AM

                by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday December 19 2014, @06:41AM (#127403) Journal

                And you can bet that if there ARE inhumane treatments and "justice" meted in Cuba without benefits of legal protections?
                US being best buddies will do nothing to change these conditions - only some of the people receiving.

                Like Bahrain or Saudi Arabia. Or Uzbekistan or Israel. Or Columbia or Burma. Or...

                --
                You're betting on the pantomime horse...
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19 2014, @02:47AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19 2014, @02:47AM (#127355)

              > near-slave labour

              Go back far enough and it was literally slave labor.

            • (Score: 2) by cmn32480 on Friday December 19 2014, @05:59PM

              by cmn32480 (443) <{cmn32480} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday December 19 2014, @05:59PM (#127536) Journal

              Please feel free to talk to anyone who has spent time in one of Castro's political prisons. I have family who fall into this category and the stories they tell are bone chilling. Castro's communist government is not innocent of human rights abuses.

              --
              "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
              • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday December 19 2014, @07:12PM

                by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday December 19 2014, @07:12PM (#127551) Journal

                That the US is even involved in pissing matches about who's prisons are worse? FAIL TEAM AMERICA.

                --
                You're betting on the pantomime horse...
        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday December 19 2014, @12:59AM

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 19 2014, @12:59AM (#127337) Journal
          Exporting their Havana Club [wikipedia.org] rum again.
          Bacardi won't stand a chance.
          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by gallondr00nk on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:45PM

    by gallondr00nk (392) on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:45PM (#127321)

    We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.

    For God's sake man, that's the entire foundation of US foreign policy you're fucking with there.

    Just calm down.

  • (Score: 2) by GungnirSniper on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:47PM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:47PM (#127323) Journal

    The Castro government formally nationalized all foreign-owned property, particularly American holdings, in the nation on 6 August 1960. In 1961, the Cuban government nationalized all property held by religious organizations, including the dominant Roman Catholic Church.

    ^ From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Revolution#Reforms_and_nationalization [wikipedia.org]

    I take it we're going to go from embargo to some sort of bizarre other-reality where Cuba again becomes a satellite state of American corporations, yet the path to citizenship for Cuban immigrants via the wet foot, dry foot policy [wikipedia.org] will probably remain.

    • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:59PM

      by Arik (4543) on Thursday December 18 2014, @11:59PM (#127326) Journal
      It's natural selection. We only want them if they have the genetics to be or produce good athletes. The obsession with professional athletics is another matter, but both countries share it.

      Neither the US nor Cuban government ever seems to much care how many drown trying to make it. We give lip service to the value of life but judging by actions we care more about medals.
      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
  • (Score: 1) by art guerrilla on Friday December 19 2014, @02:13AM

    by art guerrilla (3082) on Friday December 19 2014, @02:13AM (#127343)

    all for cutting out the idiotic, spiteful, punitive embargo, etc of cuba, for no better reason than pandering to the cuban exiles who were kicked out and lost their lucrative rackets...

    *but*, the timing -as far as taking 'torture' off the front pages- is interesting... no doubt this has been brewing in the background for some time, but i have to think the timing is for that reason...

    personally, i would *LOVE* to be able to snorkel some of the relatively untrammeled, unspoiled reefs, underwater parks, etc, they have there... that would be muy excellente, comrade ! ! !

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19 2014, @02:27AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19 2014, @02:27AM (#127346)

      *but*, the timing -as far as taking 'torture' off the front pages- is interesting... no doubt this has been brewing in the background for some time, but i have to think the timing is for that reason...

      There is always something going on. If you look for a conspiracy, you'll find one. The guys on Fox news always say that anything the president does is an attempt to distract from benghazi...

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by isostatic on Friday December 19 2014, @03:06AM

    by isostatic (365) on Friday December 19 2014, @03:06AM (#127360) Journal

    There's a nice tech angle on this. Cuba is one of the most cut-off countries in the world, their internet backbone is terrible, normalising relations may lead to new undersea cables to Florida and on to the rest of the world, which surely will help for those of us who already have offices in cuba.

    But no, as usual it's just the same dreck you get on cnn.com.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19 2014, @03:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19 2014, @03:29AM (#127368)

      Keeping 1959-era cars running without access to the Detroit supply chain is a trick too.
      Cuban mechanics have quite a knack.
      Reminds me of the Psycho-Billy Cadillac.
      http://restomodders.com/2013/07/23/one-piece-at-a-time/ [restomodders.com]

      -- gewg_

      • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday December 19 2014, @07:27AM

        by isostatic (365) on Friday December 19 2014, @07:27AM (#127419) Journal

        Older cars tended to be fairly simple, you could understand them and tinker with a screwdriver and hammer.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19 2014, @09:49AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19 2014, @09:49AM (#127430)

          What do you do when your water pump goes out and there's no parts store on the corner that has a new one you can just bolt on?
          These guys know how to actually FIX things.

          Oh, and I meant to include this link in my comment.
          http://www.google.com/images?q=Havana+cars&start=20 [google.com]

          -- gewg_

    • (Score: 3) by jcd on Friday December 19 2014, @06:33AM

      by jcd (883) on Friday December 19 2014, @06:33AM (#127400)

      I don't think it's unconscionable to post large, game-changing world events like this to Soylent. It's worth discussing, and it's worth considering that not everything discussed on Soylent needs to have a power plug or a main method.

      --
      "What good's an honest soldier if he can be ordered to behave like a terrorist?"
      • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday December 19 2014, @07:06AM

        by isostatic (365) on Friday December 19 2014, @07:06AM (#127413) Journal

        SN continuously posts events in an attempt to claim they are "world changing". hunderds of "world changing" events happen every year, and they're posted on SN. Hint, if it doesn't break into normal programming, it's not world changing. Even if it does break in it's probably not world changing, unless it's breaking in in multiple countries at the same time.

        As a rule of thumb, if Hugh Pickens has posted it, it shouldn't be here. Sure it will attract lots of comments, many things do. Post something about gun control and you'll get thousands of people on all sides piling in. It's not something that should be on this site though.

        If something is newsworthy, there's usually a tech angle that is being ignored because by the general news. There are 54,239,413 websites out there discussing the latest "world changing" events, however very few are discussing what change it may have on technology. It used to be that slashdot was a place that did. Then the quality of contributers dropped, and more and more people were only interested in discussing their favourite political pasttimes. SN was supposed to be a return to the old days, before stories like this were posted to drive the adverts.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 19 2014, @09:13AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 19 2014, @09:13AM (#127428) Journal

          SN continuously posts events in an attempt to claim they are "world changing". hunderds of "world changing" events happen every year, and they're posted on SN. Hint, if it doesn't break into normal programming, it's not world changing. Even if it does break in it's probably not world changing, unless it's breaking in in multiple countries at the same time.

          It's breaking into normal programming in the US and Cuba at the same time. So that's multiple countries.

          But having said that, I see the danger. If we're not constrained by a rational person like you, then pretty soon we'll be doing something heinous like claiming SN invented the internet. Total protonic reversal.

        • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Friday December 19 2014, @02:34PM

          by urza9814 (3954) on Friday December 19 2014, @02:34PM (#127479) Journal

          Soylent is not exclusively a tech news site. You're thinking of Slashdot.

        • (Score: 2) by Blackmoore on Friday December 19 2014, @07:46PM

          by Blackmoore (57) on Friday December 19 2014, @07:46PM (#127563) Journal

          I would LIKE to post more Science and Tech content.

          Please send some in.

          Hugh sends in articles. several each day - and while I don't particularity find his content awful; I would rather run science and tech. but i dont have a lot to approve.