An awkward date: Cuba, diplomacy, and state sponsored terrorism

A Palabra on Latin America

When you go on a first date, you try to delight in your company, but you also keep an eye peeled for deal breakers. For instance: smelly breath, maternal dependence, or mistakenly saying an ex’s name in place of yours.

You could say that the U.S. took Cuba on a “first date” of sorts last Thursday, as U.S. officials headed to Havana to discuss matters of diplomacy and potentially setting up an embassy over there.

What interests me the most is what the State Department has made clear will not be a deal breaker: Cuba’s place on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Cuba has been rocking the list since 1982 with some of her gal-pals, including Iran, Syria, Sudan, and North Korea.

Secretary of State John Kerry is starting up a six-month investigation of Cuba’s terror sponsor designation. He’s chivalrous, to his credit–but hopefully he leaves his rose-colored glasses…

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