I imagine temporary dictator Raúl Castro got the Yanqui appeasers all in a twitter on Saturday when he said this:
''We take this opportunity to once again state that we are willing to resolve at the negotiating table the long-standing dispute between the United States and Cuba ... After almost half a century, we are willing to wait patiently until the moment when common sense prevails in Washington power circles."
The first move, Raúl, is yours, said State Department spokeswoman Janelle Hironimus:
"The dialogue that needs to take place is one between the Cuban regime and the Cuban people about the democratic future of the island. Any deepening of our engagement with Cuba depends on that dialogue and the Cuban regime's willingness to take concrete steps toward a political opening and a transition to democracy."
As for the specifics of what the U.S. should look for from Cuba before negotiations can begin, this is a good list:
1. That all Cuban political prisoners and prisoners of conscience be released immediately and granted an unconditional amnesty.
2. That all Cubans be allowed to move freely within the country.
3. That the existing system of apartheid-like segregation be eradicated immediately, specifically that all Cubans be treated as equals to their foreign counterparts, such as “prominent scholars and artists” from abroad.
4. That all Cubans be granted access to all sources of uncensored information, whether in broadcast, print, or Internet immediately.
5. That all Cubans be granted the freedom to express their opinions freely without fear of repercussions.
6. That all Cubans be allowed to travel abroad freely.
7. That all Cubans be allowed to live, work, and seek a better life for themselves as they see fit.
8. That all Cubans be allowed to elect their leaders through verifiable, transparent democratic elections as allowed for in Cuba’s last legitimate constitution, the Constitution of 1940.
(H/T to 26th Parallel.)