Letting the air into a stale relationship

I discovered in Cuba a few years ago while researching my book The Blogging Revolution that the US-imposed sanctions were achieving nothing other than hatred of the US and its leaders. Obama’s latest tentative moves should be applauded, but he has a long way to go to treat the Communist nation with the respect it deserves (despite its woeful human rights record):

In abandoning longstanding restrictions on the ability of Cuban-Americans to visit and send money to family members on the island, President Obama demonstrated Monday that he was willing to open the door toward greater engagement with Cuba — but at this point, only a crack.

The announcement represents the most significant shift in United States policy toward Cuba in decades, and it is a reversal of the hard line taken by President George W. Bush. It comes as Mr. Obama is preparing to meet later this week in Trinidad and Tobago with Latin American leaders, who want him to normalize relations with Cuba and its leader, Raúl Castro.

The White House made clear on Monday that Mr. Obama, who campaigned on improving relations with Cuba, was not willing to go that far, at least not yet. Rather, the steps he took were modest, reflecting the complicated domestic politics around Cuba and the unpredictability of the Cuban response.

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