14 December 2005

Cuba and U.S. Isolation

Cuba is one of my pet issues. For some time I have been unsatisfied with our response to Fidel Castro and his communist regime. The embargo may have seemed appropriate in the 60's, but it has proved to be impotent. Castro se ha enriquecido (has enriched himself) at the expense of his people. While the Chinese citizenry have benefit from engagement with the U.S., the Cubans have been isolated. The isolation will continue with the news that (for the time being) Cuba will not be allowed to field a team for the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

The embargo has survived largely due to intense political pressure from the Cuban exile community. No president since its inception has dared to go against it in any meaningful way for fear of alienating one of Florida's major voting blocs. In particular, Republicans have fought to uphold it. On this I part ways.

As the son of a Cuban exile, I understand the pain and anger of fleeing one's home and being forced to leave almost all worldly possessions behind. Such was the case for my mother and her family. The embargo has not, and will not, reverse that. Castro will not move if he has not already. Through engagement we can change Cuba more effectively than through isolation. Almost 45 years of this policy has shown that something must change. Allowing the Cubans to field a team is one step in that direction, albeit a symbolic one, but something has to give.

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