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Cuba move a big plus for outgoing president's legacy

Published:Wednesday | January 18, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The restoration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba is seen by one political analyst as a significant plus for outgoing United States president, Barack Obama.
Richard ‘Dickie’ Crawford says that Obama’s decision to set aside the vestiges of the decades-old Cold War and renew relations with Cuba was overwhelmingly popular across the world, with the exception of Miami, which has a strong Cuban population.
“It has certainly gone over quite well with Jamaicans and Caribbean people, who actually lobbied him and spoke with him when he went to an OAS (Organization of American States) meeting in Trinidad and Tobago. He scored on that one, and that was one of the positive moves of his foreign policy,” Crawford reasoned.

Biggest mistake

When Obama shook hands with Raúl Castro, the Cuban president, it marked the first meeting between a US and Cuban leader since both countries severed ties in 1961.
On the other hand, political observers have described Obama’s decision to intervene in Libya’s civil war, which led to the death of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddaffi, as the biggest mistake of his presidency.
“I do believe that Barack Obama as the president, as the human, as the individual, may have been overwhelmed by the geopolitical realities because he is the president of the so-called mightiest power in the world, and that has to be taken into consideration at the same time,” said Crawford.
Commenting on the Iranian nuclear deal, Crawford says that time would eventually show the world whether it was a positive aspect of his legacy or not.
On the Bin Laden issue, Crawford said Obama can take credit for the operation led by US special forces, which ended in the demise of the so-called terrorist. “He probably put his presidency on the line because if anything had gone wrong, then you never know what the results would have been,” he noted.