After Iran, the United States of America has also shown its intent to break the traditional approach in its policy vis-a-vis Cuba. President Barack Obama decided to restore relations with Cuba, a country with which it has shared enmity since 1959 and maintained economic blockade for several decades. The picture of Obama shaking hands with Cuban President Raul Castro is thus a historical moment.
The enmity that the US and Cuba had once
The US-Cuba enmity had started after Fidel Castro's campaign overthrew Fulgencio Batista, Washington's friend in the region.
The Americans had carried out relentless efforts to destablise Castro's Cuba and imposed an economic blockade. In 1962, the US and erstwhile USSR almost came close to flagging off the Third World War over the location of Soviet missiles in Cuba, close to the American territory.
Is today's turnaround a miracle?
When we compare the situation today when the US decided to remove Cuba's name from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, it looks a miracle has been accomplished. But is this really a miracle?
Not a turnaround but a flexible foreign policy
But this revival of diplomacy vis-a-vis Cuba by the Americans is not a fairy-tale that the latter have deliberately chosen to script. Washington is one of those power centres in the world which is guided by a realist foreign policy where national interest is above everything else.
From ideological to economic: USA's battle for supremacy changes
During the Cold War, it was the ideological battle for power and supremacy that had compelled the US leaders to act against the USSR and its allies and satellites.
Today, with the Cold War being a thing of the past, it is the economic battle for supremacy which has taken over and it explains why Washington doesn't hesitate to change its policy vis-a-vis India's Narendra Modi or Cuba.
The US had denied visa to Modi in the wake of the Gujarat pogroms of 2002 but that episode got overshadowed after the then Gujarat prime minister went on to become the prime minister of India.
Why India and Pakistan can't follow the same?
India and Pakistan, unlike the US, are yet to understand the necessity of a flexible foreign policy. The nuclear-equipped neighbours continue to lock horns over political and diplomatic reasons and sacrifice the overall benefit of a crucial region like South Asia.
Can we learn some practical lessons from the American foreign policy guidelines?