Cuba deal: good idea? It had help from Canada and the Vatican

The Wall Street Journal makes a cautionary note:

We should stipulate that 20 years ago these columns called for lifting the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. We did so to assist the impoverished Cuban people and perhaps undermine the regime.

But we also stressed that “no U.S officials have to dignify Castro’s regime by sitting down at a negotiating table” with Cuban officials: “The whole point is to continue to oppose Castro’s government while allowing succor for Cuba’s people.” Mr. Obama’s approach will provide immediate succor to the Castro government in the hope of eventually helping the Cuban people.

The Pope had no qualms at all, from the Daily Mail:

The crucial role played by Pope Francis in bringing Cuba and the United States together signals that history’s first Latin American pope has no qualms about putting the Holy See on the front lines of diplomacy, especially for a cause it has long championed.

The Vatican said on Wednesday that Francis wrote to President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro in recent months and invited them to resolve their differences over humanitarian issues, including prisoners.

In addition, the Vatican hosted U.S. and Cuban delegations in October ‘and provided its good offices to facilitate a constructive dialogue on delicate matters, resulting in solutions acceptable to both parties,’ the Vatican said.

Neither did Canada, On from Reuters:

Canada’s decision to host secret talks between the United States and Cuba on normalizing relations allowed the two countries the discretion they needed, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Wednesday.

In a brief statement, Harper congratulated the two on their successful dialogue and said Canada supported a future for Cuba that fully embraced the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

“We were not trying in any way to direct or mediate the talks. We were just trying to make sure that they had the opportunity to have the kind of dialogue they needed to have,” he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

The first direct talks between the United States and Cuba took place in June 2013 in Canada, which hosted the bulk of meetings, U.S. officials said.

Canada has had full diplomatic relations with Cuba since 1945 and Canadian companies have long operated there.

We can only hope for the best at this point.

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