(Heritage Foundation, New York Times) Read More: Read The Full Text of President Obama’s Speech In Hiroshima 4.North Korea Some regimes open up in hopes of maintaining political stability; for North Korea, political stability depends on isolation.Iran was exporting 2.5 million barrels of oil a day back before economic sanctions were tightened in 2012; by 2014, oil exports had fallen to just over a million barrels a day.
(Pew Research, International Business Times, Levada Center, Bloomberg) *** We expect our presidential candidates to tell us exactly what they’ll do once in office.It’s difficult to justify stifling your economy to pursue a nuclear program whose long-term security and economic benefits are murky at best. A tightening of sanctions presented the US and its allies with an opportunity to draw Iran to the negotiating table and to continue to bargain until Iran offered an acceptable deal.There won’t be a near-term thaw in US-Iranian relations, but the nuclear deal creates a long-awaited opening for genuine longer-term progress.This is a country that offers Washington real opportunities for security and commercial gains. In addition, 79 percent of Cubans say they’re not satisfied with the country’s economic system, and 55 percent of Cubans would leave the island if they could.(Business Insider, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Pew Research) 2. A full 97 percent of Cubans say a better relationship with the US would benefit their country. For decades the island’s Communist government has depended on friendly leftist governments to keep the country afloat.The end of the US embargo signals to China that it won’t stand by while Beijing throws its weight around Asia. Obama’s crowning foreign policy achievement will be the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, which, if approved—most likely during the upcoming “lame duck” session of Congress—will lower barriers to trade and investment across 12 countries that make up 40 percent of the world’s GDP.Vietnam stands to be the deal’s single biggest beneficiary, boosting its economy 10 percent by 2030.And at a time when many people around the world are pushing back against trade deals, Vietnam is one of the few remaining unabashed cheerleaders of globalization.A 2014 Pew Research survey found that some 95 percent of Vietnamese citizens say trade is good, and 76 percent have favorable views of the US. Obama enjoys Pope Francis-level popularity ratings of nearly 80 percent on the island.It also received aid from Venezuela valued between and billion each year, equivalent to 15 percent of Cuba’s GDP.That’s no longer possible, given Venezuela’s own economic problem.