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With presidents Obama, Castro watching, Rays beat Cuban team

Cuban President Raul Castro, right, U.S. President Barack Obama, and first lady Michelle Obama watch a baseball match between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, March 22, 2016. The crowd roared as Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro entered the stadium and walked toward their seats in the VIP section behind home plate. It's the first game featuring an MLB team in Cuba since the Baltimore Orioles played in the country in 1999. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP)

During a CNN debate in 2007, then-candidate Barack Obama was asked if he would be willing to meet with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries. Obama said: “I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration (Bush), is ridiculous”.

I must have missed all the editorials explaining how Obama’s plan would be a terrible idea; That a move like this would only give respectability to ruthless and dictatorial regimes and allow them a position on the world stage, which would be exactly what they want.

Would Sen. Chuck Schumer have labeled such a visit, like President Donald Trump’s visit to North Korea, “one of the worst few days in American diplomacy”? Would Schumer have called a similar Obama visit “reality show foreign policy”?

No, of course not. The media would be lecturing us about how only Obama could have pulled this off.

After Obama was elected, he became the first U.S. president to visit Cuba in decades. Remember Cuba? That’s the ruthless, dictatorial regime that accepted delivery of missiles from the Soviet Union back in 1962 and pointed them in our direction. Once again, I don’t remember the uproar about that trip.

So, Trump’s visit to North Korea is bad, and Obama’s visit to Cuba is good? Got it.

Jack Lane • St. Charles