South Asia Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Barbara Slavin writes for Voice of America on the United States restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba and coming to a nuclear deal with Iran:
Two milestones occurred in US foreign policy Monday that will cement President Barack Obama’s legacy and put the United States back in step with the vast majority of international opinion.
At the State Department, the flag of Cuba was quietly inserted between Croatia and the Czech Republic as the United States and the island nation only 90 miles away restored diplomatic relations after a 54-year break.
Meanwhile, at the United Nations, the 15-member Security Council voted unanimously to approve the landmark nuclear agreement reached with Iran last week.
Critics of Obama’s foreign policy wanted the United States to remain an outlier when it comes to dealing with both regimes. But decades of US ostracism have not turned either country into a Jeffersonian democracy or stopped the Iranian nuclear program. Engagement offers the prospect of economic progress for both and more breathing space for cultural and political evolution.