They say that insanity is when you keep doing the same thing, hoping for a different result. Well, we’ve had an embargo against Cuba for 53 years, hoping that would change Cuba. It hasn’t worked.
So I am overjoyed that Obama has decided to change our relationship with Cuba. We are going to open an embassy in Cuba and chart a course toward normalizing relations. For those who say that is a bad idea, we normalized relations with many of our former enemies, including Russia, China, and Vietnam, and the world didn’t end. Our dysfunctional relationship with Cuba is the last relic of the cold war and this change is long overdue.
I support this move not because I am in any way a fan of the Castro regime in Cuba. In fact, quite the opposite. It has become apparent that our embargo of Cuba is just about the only thing that has kept the Castro brothers in power, as they have often used the embargo as an excuse to exercise dictatorial power. Opening up relations between the two countries is probably the best thing we could do to end Cuba’s siege mentality and bring about a more open government there.
I have visited Cuba on more than one occasion, and I can say that the Cuba people are capable of moving toward democracy. Even Alan Gross, the American who had been held in jail in Cuba for aiding Cuban dissidents and whose release prompted this change, has nothing but good things to say about the Cuban people. They are ready for change, and by ending the embargo, we will give them the opportunity to create their own change. This is good news for everyone.