Will America engage Cuba as it has China?

Obama shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart. (AP)

As the Obama administration moves to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba after decades of trying to isolate the Castro regime, experts on China have been reminded of an even more momentous opening 36 years ago that has gone down as a seminal moment in world history.

Post Nation

Americans increasingly say race is the country’s most important issue

The number of Americans who name race as the top issue has risen to a two-decade high.

    More National News

    Religion events from around the Washington area

    Christmas and Hanukkah worship and programs, Festival of Lights, Crèchè exhibits, choral concerts.

    Obama chastises Sony, vows to retaliate against N. Korea

    Obama chastises Sony, vows to retaliate against N. Korea

    “We can’t start changing our patterns of behavior,” the president said at a wide-ranging news conference that capped a tough sixth year in office.

    In Paul-Rubio feud over Cuba, a preview of 2016

    Two leading presidential hopefuls clash over Obama’s new policy to normalize relations, offering a glimpse of the GOP’s coming foreign policy debate.

    Arlington board approves plan for new middle school

    Arlington board approves plan for new middle school

    The board voted to move the H-B Woodlawn program in five years to make room for a new middle school.

    U.S. pledges ‘proportional’ response for N. Korea hack

    U.S. pledges ‘proportional’ response for N. Korea hack

    The United States for the first time laid blame on a foreign government for a destructive cyberattack.

    Obama gives federal workers a 2015 pay raise

    Obama gives federal workers a 2015 pay raise

    The 1 percent pay hike is modest compared to the increases provided by past presidential administrations.

    Second-biggest week this year for S&P 500

    Second-biggest week this year for S&P 500

    A roundup of business news from around the world.

    Bumble Bee on verge of being acquired by tuna behemoth

    Bumble Bee on verge of being acquired by tuna behemoth

    The world’s largest canned tuna company poised to buy North American company for $1.5 billion.

    ‘The law is an ass — an idiot ... a __.’

    What else does Mr. Bumble say the law is (subjunctively), in Oliver Twist? UPDATE: Post bumped up because comments were originally closed (due to a technical glitch).

    EPA, citing toxic spills, moves to regulate coal ash

    EPA imposes first-ever restrictions on coal ash, citing air and water risks. Environmentalist blast rule as weak.

    Obama shakes off resignation of recent public appearances

    Obama shakes off resignation of recent public appearances

    He cracks jokes and says he’s “energized” as he enters “the fourth quarter” of his presidency.

    Supreme Court allows same-sex marriages in Florida

    Supreme Court allows same-sex marriages in Florida

    A federal judge had previously struck down a state ban, and without Supreme Court intervention, same-sex marriage licenses could be issued starting Jan. 6.

    U-Va. board leader denounces ‘drive-by journalism’

    U-Va. board leader denounces ‘drive-by journalism’

    George Keith Martin accused the magazine of “callous indifference” to the consequences of its rape article.

    NAACP opposes English-learner schools for immigrants

    NAACP opposes English-learner schools for immigrants

    Prince George’s schools for people struggling with English shortchange longtime residents, critics say.

    Pigs into farmers: the case of Sen. Bernie Sanders and the foregone traffic ticket

    Socialism in theory: egalitarianism. Socialism in reality: use your political influence so that you and your friends don’t have to obey the rules that apply to everyone else.

    Introducing The Weekly Itch

    Introducing The Weekly Itch

    We launch a roundup of the best stuff in innovation, technology, creativity and humor.

    Ferris Bueller’s day in the Texas Supreme Court

    Ferris Bueller’s day in the Texas Supreme Court

    A very interesting dissent from denial of review in a media rights case, by Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett.

    Dangerous implications of the Nebraska-Oklahoma lawsuit against marijuana legalization in Colorado

    Nebraska and Oklahoma’s lawsuit against Colorado’s marijuana legalization law has dangerous implications - particularly for conservatives and others who want to enforce constitutional limits on the scope of federal power.

    What will the future hold for Sony’s Amy Pascal?

    What will the future hold for Sony’s Amy Pascal?

    It could take longer than usual for the parlor game over her fate at the company to play out.

    Video

    Obama jokes about Politico in Brussels

    Obama jokes about Politico in Brussels

    In his year-ending press conference today, President Obama called first on Politico reporter Carrie Budoff Brown who is soon moving to Europe. “I think what Belgium needs is some, uh, version of Politico," the president said.

    State Department warns travelers about worldwide terror threat

    State Department warns travelers about worldwide terror threat

    Nothing like spreading a little holiday fear.

    8 things you didn’t read today (but should have)

    8 things you didn’t read today (but should have)

    Rum, James Flacco and media errors.

    2014 in review, with religion in a starring role

    A string of court decisions in the United States paved a way for greater accommodation of faith in public life.

    Fact-checking Obama’s press conference jobs claims

    Fact-checking Obama’s press conference jobs claims

    Pretty decent news, particularly when taken out of context.

    Nebraska and Oklahoma are misreading Raich

    My 2 cents on Oklahoma and Nebraska’s lawsuit against Colorado’s marijuana legalization

    Unemployment rate drops in 41 states, D.C.

    The unemployment rate fell by more than 2 percentage points over the year in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Nevada, Ohio and Rhode Island.

    Video

    Dr. Oz's 'miraculous' claims

    Dr. Oz's 'miraculous' claims

    A recent study by the British Medical Journal says half of the claims Dr. Mehmet Oz makes on his popular television show are not backed up by medical science. Here are some examples from recent episodes of "The Dr. Oz Show" - claiming "revolutionary miracles."

    Obama takes questions only from female reporters before leaving town

    Obama takes questions only from female reporters before leaving town

    At his last scheduled press conference of the year, male reporters were ignored.

    President Obama likes James Flacco a lot, whoever that is.

    President Obama likes James Flacco a lot, whoever that is.

    But more importantly, is he elite?

    The auto bailout is officially over

    The auto bailout is officially over

    On Friday, the Treasury Department said it sold its remaining stake in auto lender Ally Financial.

    The many things the 113th Congress wanted to condemn

    The many things the 113th Congress wanted to condemn

    Many truly awful things -- and many things that President Obama did.

    Women drawn to the newly hot, high-tech field of statistics

    Women drawn to the newly hot, high-tech field of statistics

    The discipline offers a more welcoming learning environment and a plethora of job possibilities.

    District, Maryland and Virginia see unemployment dip

    District, Maryland and Virginia see unemployment dip

    Washington suburbs add fewer jobs than the nation’s capital, which accounts for about half the growth.

    Video

    Highlights from Obama's last briefing of 2014

    Highlights from Obama's last briefing of 2014

    Here are the key moments from President Obama's last news conference of 2014, which he gave before leaving for Hawaii with his family for the holidays.

    Congress goes home, but what’s next?

    Congress goes home, but what’s next?

    While it did appear ugly, the House and Senate avoided the worst excesses of 2013.

    Rand Paul, Twitter troll

    Rand Paul, Twitter troll

    He and Marco Rubio don’t agree on changes in our relationship with Cuba ...

    Employment and earnings weighed in college-rating plan

    Employment and earnings weighed in college-rating plan

    Obama administration considers measuring whether recent grad earn more than 200 percent of poverty level.

    Hawaii is the Best State in America

    Hawaii is the Best State in America

    No one is healthier than Hawaiians.

    The decline of the Cuban American hard-liners

    The decline of the Cuban American hard-liners

    Obama’s move pushes Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush into a corner.