Cuban Embargo

Historic Action Of Barack Obama On Changing Isolation Policy Toward Cuba!

When history is recorded on the Obama Presidency, the President’s move to end the isolation of Cuba, a failed policy for 54 years, will be high on the list of accomplishments!

The decision under Dwight D. Eisenhower to start an embargo on Cuba on January 17, 1961, was an historic mistake that has failed to bring down the regime of Fidel and Raul Castro.

Who would have thought that, through thick and thin, and even without Soviet support for the past 20 years, that the Castro brothers would have the continuation of the longest personal dictatorship in modern times, surviving through eleven Presidencies?

It is not an issue of endorsing the harsh dictatorship of Fidel and Raul Castro, as that, rightfully, has been, and continues to be, something worth condemning.

But if we were to decide not to deal with governments that are oppressive, then we would not have diplomatic relations with much of the world, and certainly not with China and Vietnam, but Richard Nixon opened up to China; Jimmy Carter established diplomatic ties to China; and Bill Clinton established diplomatic ties with Vietnam, a scant generation after 58,000 Americans died in the disastrous Vietnam War!

The Castro Brothers, in their mid to high 80s are on the way out, and Raul has said he will retire in 2018, and there is no obvious family heir, so the opportunity to influence the future of the island is likely by America having diplomatic relations with Cuba, and promoting trade, travel and opening up to American influence.

The Congress should lift the embargo, but even if they do not, short term, the failed policy is on its way out, and a majority of Americans support opening up to Cuba.

Barack Obama has been a profile in courage on this, and Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Robert Menendez, and House members Ileana Ros Lehtinen, and Mario Diaz Balart, and other Cuban American politicians are living in the past, with their narrow minded views on their homeland to go into the dustbin of history! The older generation in Florida and elsewhere may still be bitterly opposed to change, but the younger generation supports opening up to Cuba, which will have a massive short range and long range effect on that nation!

51st Anniversary Of Bay Of Pigs Fiasco: Time To Open Up To Cuba

Today marks the 51st anniversary of the Bay of Pigs fiasco under President John F. Kennedy, the failure to overthrow Fidel Castro and Communism in Cuba.

Often thought to be possibly the worst action of the Kennedy Presidency, it simply emboldened Fidel Castro, and it led to the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, leading to the most dangerous moment in the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union.

Had it not been for cooler heads on both sides, including President Kennedy’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, the world as we knew it might have come to an end in a disastrous nuclear war.

In the years since, negotiations went on with the Soviet Union until its downfall in December 1991, and relations with China, the largest Communist power, ensued, and despite many problems and issues between China and the US, we are now marking 40 years of contact with that nation.

But our involvement with Fidel Castro, and now his brother Raul Castro, has been very minimal, and an embargo on trade has failed to overwhelm Cuba, even after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Instead, for political reasons, the influence of Cuban Americans in the Republican Party, and particularly in Florida, has led to the refusal to deal with Castro, which all other nations do, and has made us look ridiculous.

Dealing with an evil government which denies human rights to its citizens is not a good thing, but yet we deal with many governments diplomatically, who do just that, deny basic human rights to its people.

If we were to deal only with governments that guarantee equality and human rights, we would be isolated from contact with much of the world, as sadly, much of the membership of the United Nations is governed by abhorrent leadership.

The point is that Cuba will sometime soon see a change of government, as with Fidel Castro reaching 86 this summer, and Raul Castro in his early 80s, we could have a dramatic effect on the future of that island nation if we began diplomatic ties and stopped the ridiculous, ineffective embargo that has gone on now for more than half a century.

It is time that we decided that we are not going to allow the Cuban American community of South Florida, which is indeed becoming more diverse, in any case, simply by the changing attitudes of the younger generation, to dominate the issue of the future of Cuban relations.

And as part of that, we need to have people willing to stand up to the dominant, older, right wing forces in the Cuban community, who are not interested in democracy in Cuba’s future, but only in establishing a right wing government that favors the wealthy who were forced out of Cuba in 1959-1960, and want to influence the future of that nation through their family connections, but have poisoned politics in Florida and the nation by their intransigence on the Cuba issue all these years.

And therefore, it is time for the Miami Marlins to stop pandering to those in the community who have called for the firing of manager Oscar Guillen because he had the “nerve” to speak his mind about Fidel Castro. IF we do not promote freedom of speech, how are we any different than what has gone on in Cuba for the past half century? And although the author thinks Fidel Castro is reprehensible, that does not mean that Oscar Guillen’s job should be based on denial of his right to his personal views, whether you and I agree with such views!

Hopefully, in a second term, Barack Obama will be able to move forward on the issue of opening up to Cuba, as a plan for the future of our relations with that island nation, soon to change simply on the basis of time passing and leadership leaving the scene!