Editorials | September 2009
|Time to End Cuba Embargo|
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September 07, 2009
The failed and counterproductive U.S. trade embargo on Cuba may crumble even more if the two countries succeed in re-opening direct mail contact and increasing legal Cuban immigration to this country.
Word of talks on these issues comes as a poll of Cuban-Americans, mostly in Florida, shows support for the embargo eroding among the people who have been its crucial supporters of the years.
The 47-year-old embargo has failed to topple the Castro regime, or force its liberalization. It may have actually strengthened the Castros, and engendered sympathy for him and hostility towards the United States in Latin America.
The embargo has had holes poked in it, but its time to dump it altogether, or at least lift travel restrictions on any Americans wishing to visit the island.
In April, President Obama lifted restrictions on Cuban-American traveling to Cuba and sending remittances to relatives there, essentially reversing Bush Administration tightening of restrictions.
Obama also permitted U.S. telecommunications firms to do business in Cuba. In 2000, Congress allowed Cuba to buy U.S. agricultural products with cash. U.S. biotech firms have limited freedom to develop drugs created in Cuba.
However glacial the progress, change is coming in Cuba.
There is no convincing evidence of political reform, but as Fidel Castro fades there are signs of the economic realism that has transformed China into a much freer, more prosperous country. China is still a dictatorship, but its prospects for reform there are much improved.
The same can be true with Cuba if we help it re-engage with the free world.
Urge our leaders to end this failed policy.