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.