Thursday, April 23, 2009

A New Cuba Policy

The Case for a New Cuba Policy: “Long-term normalization would correct a policy that increasingly requires verbal cartwheels to rationalize. Although Tehran supports terrorist groups and is developing a nuclear program in defiance of the international community, the United States maintains more comprehensive sanctions on Cuba than on Iran. Kim Jong-Il developed a clandestine nuclear program and actually possesses nuclear weapons that may have been sold on the black market, but North Korea was just removed from the list of countries supporting terrorism while Cuba remains on it. The United States purchased more than $300 billion of goods last year from China, a country with serious human rights concerns, but bans imports from Cuba.”

Compared to our relationship with every other once adversarial nation, including Vietnam, U.S. policy toward Cuba simply isn’t logical. For close to 50 years Cuba has been considered our enemy. A country which is just about 90 miles from the United States with whom we have not been able to patch-up our differences is indefensible. To an extent it has halted our growth and evolution as a nation, certainly that of Cuba as well, and it’s about time that the stagnant status quo changed.

Obama’s outreach to Cuba, and Venezuela during his attendance at the Summit of the Americas conference, coupled with Raúl Castro’s and Hugo Chavez’s seemingly meaningful response is an important signal that the United States is attempting to build a new political landscape.

The United States must to the extent possible depoliticize our relationships with Cuba, and engage in dialogue that will lead to needed reconciliations.

In Our National Interest: The Top Ten Reasons for Changing U.S. Policy Toward Cuba