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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - Raúl Castro
A second member of the "Cuban Five" returned to the Caribbean island and a hero's welcome Friday, a day after leaving a prison in the United States, where he spent 15 years behind bars on spy-related charges.
When Miami's new art museum opened in December, namesake Jorge Perez spoke easily about a once-taboo topic among Cuban-American powerbrokers: his desire to increase artistic exchanges with those on the communist island.
When President Barack Obama reinstated "people-to-people" travel to Cuba in 2011, the idea was that visiting Americans would act as cultural ambassadors for a U.S. constantly demonized in the island's official media.
Cuba's return to a tournament of the Caribbean's top baseball teams after a half-century absence is being met with protests in Venezuela.
President Obama will coast down Pennsylvania Avenue on Tuesday evening, emerging from his limousine to address the nation as a leader with neither muscle nor momentum. Gone is all the hope that Mr. Obama brought to the House chamber for his first State of the Union speech five years ago, hope that he would bring transparency, bipartisanship and change to a capital stymied by partisan gridlock.
At the funeral extravaganza commemorating a onetime political prisoner, President Obama went out of his way to smilingly shake hands with the jailer and torturer of the longest-suffering political prisoners in modern history.
Sen. John McCain on Sunday admitted he went a little overboard with his comparison of President Obama's handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's grasp of Adolf Hitler's hand.
Sometimes a handshake is just a handshake. Sometimes it symbolizes much more. Let us not forget how the world watched and waited intently to see if there would be a handshake between President Obama and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani at this year's U.N. General Assembly.
Journalists love nothing more than small events that yield big speculations and fancy headlines. Such was the case with President Obama's handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro on Tuesday during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg. The moment spawned close to 3,400 news accounts within four hours, the headlines rife with question marks and wishful conclusions. A minuscule sampling:
Most mourners at a funeral are happy that the occasion isn't about them, but President Obama wants star billing everywhere he goes, even at the gates of paradise. Speaking Tuesday in Johannesburg at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela, the president imagined that a somber occasion where the eyes of the world were upon him was an appropriate stage for advancing his political agenda at home.
Soweto, the Johannesburg suburb where popular resistance to apartheid set off the revolution that changed South Africa and established Nelson Mandela as the father of a new country, is the most dangerous place on the continent this week. Anyone who ventures into the street risks being crushed by the hordes of official visitors trying to get in front of a camera.
The Russian military recently dispatched a guided-missile warship to Cuba as part of what U.S. officials say are growing military, intelligence and economic ties between Moscow and Havana.
Cuba is still politically repressive, poor and largely cut off from the Internet two years after the communist government adopted modest reforms such as term limits on politicians and allowing the sale of private property, a U.S. survey has found.
On May 2, the FBI announced a $1 million reward for "information leading to the apprehension" of Joanne Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, who they named a "most-wanted terrorist." Chesimard is the first woman to make the FBI's list.
Beyonce and Jay-Z celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana last week as official guests of a regime that busily beat and arrested black civil rights activists known as the "Rosa Parks Civil Rights Movement."
"I have got a pen," he says, "and I have got a phone, and I can use that pen to sign executive orders."
Raul quickly legalized computers and cell phones and removed restrictions on Cubans entering tourist hotels, but he waited three years to announce more fundamental changes, including an embrace of limited forms of free market capitalism.