It is wishful thinking to believe that the renewal of diplomatic relations with Cuba will lead to removal of the embargo. Only Congress can suspend the Helms-Burton Act — a law that requires a transition to democracy in Cuba, restitution of confiscated property of U.S. citizens and the absence from power of both Castro brothers.
Cuban cigars bought in other Caribbean countries — the only kind of Cuban goods confiscated in Maryland in recent years — are still banned under the U.S. embargo of Cuban goods that went into effect in Baltimore at 12:01 a.m. Feb. 7, 1962.
The consensus within baseball circles is that President Barack Obama's decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba only can be a good thing for the sport -- although it's too early to tell exactly what changes may occur.
Bipartisan cheer for the release of a man with Maryland ties who was held in Cuba for more than five years quickly gave way to political rancor Wednesday as lawmakers presaged coming battles over the dramatic new relationship President Barack Obama outlined with Havana.
Cuba released Maryland aid worker Alan Gross on Wednesday, and the White House announced plans to re-establish diplomatic relations with Havana and relax trade and travel restrictions, reversing more than a half-century of policy aimed at isolating the communist nation 90 miles from Florida.
Imprisoned in Cuba for more than five years, Alan Gross marked his first moments of freedom Wednesday with food: A big bowl of popcorn, a corned beef sandwich and — because it's Hanukkah — latkes with sour cream and apple sauce.
Excuse me if I don't Rubio on the Cuba thing. I'm among millions of baby boomers, old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis (1962), who think the Big Chill between the U.S. and Isle de Castro went on way, way — two ways — too long. And I think I speak for several hundred thousand American sports anglers who heard yesterday's news about the thaw with Havana and asked: "How's the fishin' down there?"
On the fifth anniversary of his arrest, the wife of an American development worker jailed in Cuba called again on the U.S. government to secure his release. Cuban authorities scooped up Alan Gross on Dec. 3, 2009.