Remove the Screws and Build Anew

By Chris Moldes

Normalization of relations with other countries is a basic tenet of any left foreign policy for the United States. So too is the idea that climate change poses one of the greatest risks to the planet and unconditional international cooperation will be required to mitigate the damage.  The first is essential if the second is to succeed. Only by fully recognizing and entering into dialogue on equal footing can any further, more transformational policies be open to discussion. Though there are many policy prescriptions regarding these two points, the United States does not have to look far to find a prime example of putting both into practice: Cuba. After the brief honeymoon period following Barack Obama’s 2015 resumption of official diplomatic ties, US-Cuban relations are once again souring. But the upcoming leadership transition means presidential power will soon pass from the Castro family for the first time since the Cuban Revolution. This is a unique opportunity for the United States to demonstrate not only its willingness to accept historical reality by completely normalizing relations, ending the embargo, and closing the base in Guantanamo, but also its commitment to fighting the effects of climate change.

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