Regardless of the political implications, Obama is clearly right -- the only problem is, his proposal doesn't go far enough. The travel ban should be lifted for everybody, not just Cuban immigrants. It is the height of irony that Americans can freely travel to countries such as Venezuela and Iran, which represent genuine threats to our security and economic interests, but not to Cuba, whose government is a threat only to its own people.The ban has done nothing to weaken Castro, but it does keep U.S. tourist dollars out of the hands of Cubans, who might be less inclined to heed their regime's anti-U.S. propaganda if Americans were helping to raise their standard of living.
The U.S. shouldn't lift all economic sanctions on Cuba until the island's regime makes progress on democracy and human rights, but policies such as the travel ban and limits on remittances are simply counterproductive. Score one for Obama.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Obama Gets it Right on Cuba
Whatever your opinion of Barack Obama, you have to admit that he's not afraid to ruffle feathers or suggest a new direction.
On Cuba he's the first candidate in a long time to have the courage to say that this 50 year embargo doesn't work. Fidel Castro is in poor health and the country is being run by his brother. Because the Cuban American community won't be happy until they're back in power, we're about the only nation in the world to have little or no contact with Cuba. Our efforts have failed and its time to admit it. Fidel Castro has outlasted 10 US presidents, half of whom are long dead.
The LA Times agrees with Obama but rightfully says he doesn't go far enough.
Here's their opinion:
Indeed, let's begin the process of reconciliation!!! And think what it would do for Major League Baseball!!