We’re not lifting the embargo. We’re simply going to normalize diplomatic relations. This means we’ll have an embassy in Havana, they’ll have an embassy in New York, and we will conduct diplomatic business with each other as we would with any other country.
This does not mean that we’re friends, even. It just means that we’re talking.
We normalized diplomatic relations with Stalin in 1933, and with Maoist China in 1979. We normalized diplomatic relations with Communist Vietnam in 1995. We had diplomatic relations with all sorts of despots and horrible places.
Normalization is not an endorsement of the Castro regime, nor for Cuba’s communist system. This is not an endorsement of Cuba’s oppression. If anything, the diplomatic process will go a long way towards expanding US – Cuban ties, and hopefully doing for Cubans what trade and contact did for ties with China and pre-Putin Russia.
It is, however, high time the embargo was lifted. It has given Castro 50+ years’ worth of excuses for his oppression and economic stagnation. Taking that excuse away will go a long way towards making Cubans free again.