That's the burning question now that Obama has announced that we are re-opening our embassy in Havana-a first step in eventual reestablishment of diplomatic ties with Cuba. Aside from the question of what the US gets out of this deal, what do the Cuban people get-more liberty?
So far, I have heard that we will re-open an American embassy in Havana. There will be an easing on travel restrictions for Americans who wish to visit the island nation and spend their dollars there. Travelers can buy Cuban rum and cigars to bring home. Is that all we get? Yes, an American named Alan Gross, who we maintain is an innocent prisoner, has been released in exchange for some Cuban spies-but it's not a prisoner swap mind you. However, you don't change an entire government policy to get one American freed. The fact that the Cuban government is freeing some 50 political prisoners means little except maybe to relieve prison overcrowding-always a big consideration for liberals.
There is a partial embargo lift involved here, and Obama seems to be signaling a desire to work with Congress to lift the entire embargo-until such time as he decides he can do it all by himself. Cuba is reaping a financial bonanza not to mention an act of legitimization by the US government.
But what do American and the Cuban people get? The obvious winner here is Cuba-or rather I should say the Castro brothers.