The US government has finally agreed to re-establish full diplomatic ties with Cuba. The two countries are set to exchange ambassadors for the first time since 1961.
It marks the end of a long embargo of Cuba by the US, begun in 1960 and tightened as recently as 1999. This limited travel to, and trade with, Cuba.
The deal saw the US release the Cuban political prisoners known as the Miami Five. And Cuba freed jailed US contractor Alan Gross.
US claims to be concerned about human rights are hypocritical. The US backs repressive regimes whenever it suits its rulers’ needs.
It was really attempting to crush the legacy of the 1959 Cuban revolution, and isolate an ally of its rival the Soviet Union.
But today the embargo has become an obstacle to the US rebuilding its influence in Latin America, particularly faced with new rivals such as China.
The Cuban regime for its part needed more access to US trade since its ally, oil rich Venezuela, was hit by the crash of oil prices.
Despite the rhetoric it adopted after taking power, the Cuban regime is not socialist. Cubans suffer repression and inequality.
But the end of the US embargo is a defeat for the imperialist power that has wrought so much devastation in Latin America, and a victory for those who resist it.
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