Cuban Lobby: 50 years of Failed Policy Not Enough!
I may never really understand why advocates of the Cuban embargo believe that a policy that hasn’t achieved anything substantive thing in 50 years should be held so sacrosanct.
Florida Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart is isn’t the first to grumble about Obama’s limited lifting of the travel ban, and he won’t be the last. But his framing of Obama’s decision as a “unilateral concession” to Cuban dictators deserves some real push-back.
Obama’s decision wasn’t premised on the idea that we should simply give Cuba what it wants. It was premised on the idea that a change in policy will give Americans, and specifically Cuban-Americans, a choice as to whether they want to travel to the land of their ancestors. The decision may be unilateral, but it’s not a “concession” to anyone. It’s simply a wise correction of a failed and often simply incoherent and unjustifiable dinosaur of foreign policy. Indeed, there are good reasons to think that the influx of American citizens and money, unlike the ridiculously ineffective embargo, will finally help change Cuba for the better as new ideas, new business, and new information finally start flowing into the country from its closest and most influential Western neighbor.
Diaz-Balart et al. can scream “no it won’t” all they want, but mere scoffing is not an argument. It’s as if they’ve been defending the embargo for so long that it’s ceased to be anything other than a powerful emotional attachment, a bizarre litmus test for anti-Castro purity administered by people who seem to have forgotten that the whole point of the policy was to try to unseat Castro’s regime. 50 years of failure is enough.