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The Editors

Obama Ends the Castro Regime

Barack Obama moves to end 50 years of the U.S. doing stupid stuff to Cuba.
Cuban embargo is a relic of an earlier time.

Cuban embargo is a relic of an earlier time.

Photographer: Dean Treml/Red Bull via Getty Images

Just after noon today, President Barack Obama stood behind a lectern in the Cabinet Room of the White House and announced the end of the Castro era. His decision to normalize ties with Cuba, and loosen restrictions on travel and commerce, is a bold and overdue change in course, closing one of the last wounds of the Cold War and promising to open up new relationships and economic opportunities throughout Latin America.

Cuba's release of Alan Gross, a U.S. Agency for International Development contractor jailed for the last five years on trumped-up espionage charges, paved the way for today's announcement, which officials had been working on since the spring. The U.S. also released three imprisoned Cuban intelligence agents for a U.S. spy held in Cuba for more than 20 years.