Powell On ‘CBS This Morning’: Nothing Wrong With Opening Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 9.42.34 AMFormer Secretary of State Colin Powell joined “CBS This Morning” from Washington to discuss the recent shift in U.S. policy toward Cuba. Although the retired army general, like former President George W. Bush, supported the economic embargo on Cuba while in office, Powell now believes that the time has come to open a new chapter in U.S.-Cuban relations:

“As secretary of state, I supported it and even strengthened the sanctions against Cuba,” said the former Secretary of State. “But I think it’s now time to turn that page of history. I don’t see anything wrong with opening diplomatic relations with Cuba. We have diplomatic relations with other nations just as oppressive as Cuba. It’s a way to talk, it’s a way to make your point.”

Powell pointed out that it is unlikely Cuba will not get off the lost of sanctions any time soon, however, having an ambassador in Cuba is an effective way of opening a positive dialogue between the two nations.

“I think it’s a way of opening a channel of communications, a door that has not been there before,” continued Powell. “And as Scott Pelley just noted, there is optimism within the Cuban people by this change. Therefore, I think, let’s get the process going, but let’s not have any illusions, this is still a terrible regime. We don’t support their form of government. We don’t like what they are doing, but I think diplomatic relations as we’ve had with the Soviet Union, with Vietnam, and so many other places, we can produce positive change.”

Watch the clip via CBS News.