For the first time since 1961, the United States is moving towards official diplomatic relations with Cuba — and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says it’s overdue.

Durbin welcomes the change announced by President Obama to restore full relations and open an embassy in Cuba. To those opposed to the shift, Durbin says look at what 50-plus years of isolation have done to overthrow the Castro regime.


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“It didn’t work,” Durbin said. “The Castro brothers are still in control. Communism still is dominant on that island of Cuba. It is time for a new policy.”

Durbin believes giving the Cuban people greater access to the rest of the world will lead to a push for reforms, such as democratic elections. It’s the same recipe Durbin says worked in Eastern Europe in the 1980s.

Durbin was present when Alan Gross, the American prisoner Cuba released in exchange for three Cuban spies, got off a plane near Washington and was reunited with his family after five years in captivity.

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