After nearly two weeks of tanking over various worries — one of the biggest being whether the Saudis’ continued oil dump will cause Russia and various other countries to collapse and/or their leaders to flip out — the stock market had a big day yesterday and a really big day today, and various reasons were posited: The Fed’s not raising interest rates, decent (by Wall Street standards) unemployment numbers, things like that.
But there was something, a something that was announced at around 11:29 am ET yesterday, well over four hours before the 4:00 pm NYSE closing bell yesterday, and the effects of which were still reverberating through the market — and indeed, the entire nation — today:
WASHINGTON — The United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday.
The announcement came amid a series of sudden confidence-building measures between the longtime foes, including the release of American prisoner Alan Gross, as well as a swap for a U.S. intelligence asset held in Cuba and the freeing of three Cubans jailed in the U.S.
President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro were to separately address their nations around noon Wednesday. The two leaders spoke by phone for more than 45 minutes Tuesday, the first substantive presidential-level discussion between the U.S. and Cuba since 1961.
Wednesday’s announcements followed more than a year of secret talks between U.S. and Cuban officials in Canada and the Vatican. U.S. officials said Pope Francis was personally engaged in the process and sent separate letters to Obama and Castro this summer urging them to restart relations.
As Mistah Pierce said yesterday afternoon:
In response to six years of being called a “dictator” for just trying to keep the lights on in the government, he dropped an executive order on immigration right on their heads. Now, in response to six years of being told he was un-American, and a friend to the country’s enemies, he’s handed them the ultimate exploding cigar.
And for those worried about whether the US brand of invader capitalism is going to ruin Cuba, I answer that the Canadians and Europeans and Asians have too strong a presence there to allow the US business community to pull that sort of stunt. They’ve been there for the past fifty-five years; we haven’t been aside from Guantanamo — which thanks to Pope Francis (who brokered the whole normalization thing in the first place, by the way) is about to get a bit emptier and perhaps even close fairly soon.
There is just so much winnitude here it’s measuring off the charts.