You'll notice this entry is cross-filed under "Local South Florida Issues," because that's where it belongs.
The multi-decade dance between Castro's Cuba and successive U.S. administrations has transcended mere foreign policy; long ago, it became an emotionally-charged co-dependency fueled over the years by a volatile exile community capable of tilting national elections.
That we are now making a form of progress in relations with Cuba is due to a couple of developments: the hard-line old guard of the Miami exile community is gradually dying off, leaving more moderate, American-born heirs who think of themselves more as Americans of Cuban descent than Cuban-Americans, and the fact that Obama won Florida in 2008 without the Cuban-American vote, so he owes them nothing.
Both countries have benefited from this warped relationship. Fidel--and now Raul-- Castro needed the U.S. and its embargo to blame for inherent systemic failures in the Marxist Paradise, and U.S. conservatives liked having a Communist enemy just off our shores, not only to keep the base whipped up, but to ensure that mostly Republican Cuban-Americans showed up to vote in high proportion.
Well, it's time to move on, at least for the United States. The Organization of American States has, with qualifications, invited Cuba, finally, to join. The U.S., deciding it doesn't really matter that much anymore, dropped its objections.
Raul, not surprisingly, has spurned the invitation, proving that he needs us as an enemy more than we need him. The intractable problems of his country aren't going away soon, so he might as well keep shifting the blame.
Good luck with that, Amigo.