for Relevance in Cuba: Close, Still No Cigars
Raul Castro seems to be transitioning to a more permanent position of power, the
administration has begun talking about
policy again. One would think we would be able to survey the results of
the last 45 years and come to logical conclusions. Changing course never
seems to be an option, however, no matter how futile or counterproductive our
past actions have been.
Cuban embargo began officially in 1962 as a means to put pressure on the
communist dictatorship to change its ways. After 45 years, the Cuban
economy has struggled, but
's dictatorship is no closer to stepping to the beat of our drum. Any
ailments have consistently and successfully been blamed on US Capitalism instead
of Cuban Communism. They have substituted trade with others for trade with
, and are "awash" with development funds from abroad. Our
isolationist policies with regards to
, meanwhile, have hardly won the hearts and minds of Cubans or Cuban-Americans,
many of whom are isolated from families because this political animosity.
name of helping Cubans, the
administration is calling for "multibillions" of taxpayer dollars in
foreign aid and subsidies for internet access, education and business
development for Cubans under the condition that the Cuban government
demonstrates certain changes. In the same breath, they claim lifting the
embargo would only help the dictatorship. This is exactly backwards.
Free trade is the best thing for people in both
. Government subsidies would enrich those in power in
at the expense of already overtaxed Americans!
irony of supposed Capitalist, free-marketeers inducing Communists to freedom
with government hand-outs should not be missed. We call for a free and
private press in
while our attempts to propagandize Cubans through the
government run Radio/TV Marti has wasted $600 million in American taxpayer
time to stop talking solely in terms of what's best for the Cuban people.
How about the wishes of the American people, who are consistently in favor of
? Let's stop the hysterics about the freedom of Cubans – which is not
our government's responsibility – and consider freedom of the American people,
which is. Americans want the freedom to travel and trade with their Cuban
neighbors, as they are free to travel and trade with
. Those Americans who do not wish to interact with a country whose model
of governance they oppose are free to boycott. The point being – it is
Americans who live in a free country, and as free people we should choose who to
buy from or where to travel, not our government.
current administration is perceived as irrelevant, at best, in
and the message is falling on deaf ears there. If the administration
really wanted to extend the hand of friendship, they would allow the American
people the freedom to act as their own ambassadors through trade and travel.
Considering the lack of success government has had in engendering
, it is time for government to get out of the way and let the people reach out.