During last year’s campaign, President Obama expressed a willingness to engage in diplomacy with
“After eight years of the disastrous policies of George Bush, it is time to pursue direct diplomacy, with friend and foe alike, without preconditions. There will be careful preparation. We will set a clear agenda. And as President, I would be willing to lead that diplomacy at a time and place of my choosing, but only when we have an opportunity to advance the interests of the
He has yet to fill in the blanks, such as who in his Administration would propose to talk with Cuban officials – or when, where, and on which topics talks would take place.
When it comes to
The President spoke respectfully, referring to the “Islamic Republic of Iran” and seeking “engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect” to address “the full range of issues before us.” He stated no preconditions regarding human rights practices or any other issue, although it’s clear that
There’s no way to tell if this message gives clues about a future approach to
American and Cuban diplomats have direct channels of communication through diplomatic missions in each other’s capitals, and there are channels of limited cooperation (drugs, migration) that even the Bush Administration kept in operation.
When the Obama Administration makes its decision, it will answer several questions. Does it make sense to talk to the entire
Vice President Biden talked about a “transition” in