[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Back to Basics on Cuba Policy

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Back to Basics on Cuba Policy

Sometimes, the easiest way to explain a rather complex position such as the ban on travel to Cuba is by going back to basics.

Marc Masferrer does just this in a post last week:

I know Americans are special — at least most of us like to think so — but why exactly do so many feel that the key to Cuban freedom is the right of Americans to freely travel to the island? After all, people from the rest of the world are free to visit Cuba and spend their money, and yet Cuba is still an economic and moral basket case.

Isn't the real problem with Cuba that Cubans are not allowed to travel freely from the island? Any politician, Democrat or Republican, who fails to recognize that, does not recognize, nor care, about what Cuba really needs.

Yes, Americans are special. We stand for freedom, and with those who share our faith in liberty and in their fellow man. If that means we are the only ones to stand up against the Castro dictatorship and with the freedom fighters in Cuba like Oscar Elias Biscet and Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez," than at least we know we are on the right side.

We shouldn't be so quick to give up our high ground just so we can have more vacation options when Cubans still don't have the same, and so much more.

5 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

"We shouldn't be so quick to give up our high ground just so we can have more vacation options when Cubans still don't have the same, and so much more."

Quick? This was a "high ground"? How many years have we been at this?

At what point do we decide that our isolation policy simply isn't working? At what point do we try something radical like embracing those who differ with us to influence them rather than being the ONLY COUNTRY in the world with this ridiculous simply politically motivated embargo. As a practical matter, there are far more repressive regimes in the world with whom we don't have a travel ban (Myanmar and North Korea for example). There are plenty of dictatorships (besides the countries already mentioned look around the Middle East and Africa) we embrace.

The travel and remittance ban hasn't weakened Castro one iota! What is crazier that continuing a failed policy for decades? Flood the country with tourists and their ideas may be just what the Cuban people need to see how the other world lives. It certainly won't be a worse policy than the one we are abandoning and it might just open the door to our influence.

7:12 PM, April 05, 2009  
Blogger Henry Louis Gomez said...

The travel and remittance ban hasn't weakened Castro one iota!

That's blatantly false. The regime claims that the embargo has cost them upwards of $90 billion. Even if you cut than in half it's a substantial sum.

And yes, it could be a worse policy. Putting money in the pockets of the repressors doesn't weaken the regime one iota!

7:39 PM, April 05, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

What Henry said...not to mention the fact that American taxpayers aren't getting stuck paying Cuba's bills. You see, Cuba is infamous for defaulting on debts.

The common argument that "we trade and travel to China, Vietnam, etc., can be countered by simply stating that 2 wrongs don't make a right.

How many foreign tourists visiting Cuba must it take for people to realize that it won't put a dent in the regime.

For a little more perspective, check out my post over at Babalu re Andres Oppenheimer's piece today.

Lifting Travel Ban Ineffective

8:28 PM, April 05, 2009  
Blogger La Ventanita said...

Besides, didn't the US lift the embargo with Vietnam because they settled the debt of the properties they took over?

Wasn't the origin of the Cuban embargo financially motivated? As in put in place because of the American properties that the government took over and never have paid the US one iota?

8:49 PM, April 05, 2009  
Blogger Steve said...

"That's blatantly false. The regime claims that the embargo has cost them upwards of $90 billion. Even if you cut than in half it's a substantial sum."

A 40+ year embargo and all you can say is that it has cost them $90 billion? This is the great triumph of this policy? Are they any closer to caving in because of it? I do not think so. At this rate, it would take another 100 years!!

9:13 PM, April 05, 2009  

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