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:

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.

Indeed, let's begin the process of reconciliation!!! And think what it would do for Major League Baseball!!

5 comments:

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Ahem. Kucinich, Edwards, and Richardson have all said this already--but none of the media trying to turn this into a two person race have paid any attention!

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Venezuela and Iran represent "genuine threats" to the U.S.????

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Thanks Michael for broadening the circle. Hadn't heard their views on Cuba. Hope that we can move on this!!

A threat is a threat, but Cuba has long since stopped being a "threat." Hugo Chavez has become hugely influential in Latin America and in that sense is a challenge to the US -- though threat might be too strong. Iran, well, Iran is Iran.

Mystical Seeker said...

I would say that Venezuela is a threat to US regional hegemony and US corporate interests. But that isn't the same thing as saying that it is a threat to the US as a nation. How many "threats" provide heating oil that to poor Americans in the winter time, as Chavez does?

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I have some issues with Chavez--and far more with Iran. But I worry about "genuine threat" language playing into the hands of the saber rattlers and war mongers.