From Havana, with bitumen

Colby Cosh, July 13, 2006:

Wait a minute... Cuba's got oil?

It sure does, according to this AP wire story. With three little words, one can feel a sudden lurch in the bowels of American foreign policy. As bad as Fidel Castro is--and that's a quantity whose exact magnitude won't be known until he dies--he's never flown jumbo jets into any American skyscrapers. And as bad as he is, the U.S. military-industrial establishment might regard Hugo Chavez as being worse, regarded purely as a short-term geopolitical pathogen. Moreover, Castro will turn 80 two weeks from today. The United States will never turn him into a friend, but it wouldn't be surprising to see the beginnings of a low-key rapprochement starting at the cultural and intellectual level.

CNN, April 13th 2009:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Obama lifted all restrictions Monday on the ability of individuals to visit relatives in Cuba, as well as to send them remittances.

The move represents a significant shift in a U.S. policy that had remained largely unchanged for nearly half a century. It comes days before Obama leaves for a key meeting of hemispheric powers, the Summit of the Americas, in Trinidad and Tobago.