Thursday, December 18, 2014

Five decades of animosity dies quietly

Change in U.S. policy toward Cuba dismantles an artifact of the Cold War

The Cold War died Wednesday.

Its death was foretold, yet somehow it still came as a shock.

It didn’t expire on a bayside battlefield in the Caribbean or with a mushroom cloud or even with an exploding cigar. It perished at a White House podium.

The prisoner swap that set Alan Gross free — and the sweeping changes to U.S. policy on Cuba that went with it — won’t heal all wounds, nor will it vanquish the powerful cold warriors in the U.S. Congress. But it did fundamentally alter a curio of American foreign policy that deeply influenced popular culture and played an outsize role in U.S. presidential politics for more than half a century. 

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