The success of the President's plan to adapt a policy that, for over five decades, has failed to achieve its goals of protecting human rights and forcing the collapse of the famously autocratic Castro brothers' (Fidel and Raúl) regime hinges on the regulations developed in the bowels of the Commerce and Treasury Departments.
Most of the foreign-policy establishment concluded long ago that Washington's policy of hostility toward Havana made no sense, but because Cuba was a low priority issue during Obama's first term, establishment figures rarely spoke out about it -- until they began to sense that the policy was in flux.
It's hard to overstate the sense of relief that was felt in both Washington and Havana as Obama and Castro announced a breakthrough in such long-running hostility. It's worth taking a moment to understand how both sides got to this point and why it portends a major shift in U.S. foreign policy and potentially, in Cuban society.
For anyone who can still see straight, it is obvious that Venezuela won't be able to keep on subsidizing the Castro regime with 100,000 daily oil barrels. Moreover, each day it becomes likelier that there will soon be a major political overhaul in Venezuela, one that, in one way or the other, will spell an end to the island's economic salvation.