The Shifting Politics of Cuba Policy

With the views of Cuban-Americans evolving, Washington no longer faces the same political backlash for strengthening ties to the island.
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The US is not the only country 'shunning' or 'blockading' Cuba. The US is willing to economically sanction countries who do not adhere to this ridiculous policy. Cuba's trading partners are those who can ignore US sanctions, or who are so powerful that the US won't sanction them.

1 2015-10-13 05:13:43 - Dave

U.S. policy with respect to Cuba has so alienated other Latin American states it would be a political and moral victory for President Obama to announce a new U.S. policy of reconciliation with respect to Cuba at the Summit of the Americas gathering in April where he was so roundly criticized on this issue at its last meeting.

2 2015-10-13 01:27:52 - Tom

Regardless of the so-called evolution of Cuban-American's attitudes towards Cuba, the island is ruled by a communist dictatorship which must be defeated as it posses a great threat to freedom in America and the rest of the Western hemisphere. Its a wonder American has tolerated this bastion of communism for so long.

0 2015-10-06 03:34:21 - Southern Boy

"I would visit Cuba,.."
Please then do so, it is not impossible (see other posts here). Stay there for a year depend on their top-notch medical system, read their newspapers, have a look at their elections, say some bad things about the Castros and then report back

0 2015-10-05 16:30:37 - bruce

Cuba is doing fine so leave them alone.

2 2015-09-30 01:23:54 - Charlie Jones

And in what world are our hands clean? More blaming of the victim! How many Cubans would stay if able to trade with their natural trading partner, the US, who blocks for reasons half a century old, the change that is unforgivable--even as we trade with China (despite the Cultural Revolution!), Russia (despite the gulag!), with nations whose genocide of their own civilians or ethnic opponents far out number in kind and quality the atrocities assigned to Castro's communist regime.

The difference is we have an opportunity--and responsibility--to fix them in our backyard, by taking down the barrier which has been their main justification. Reagan did with Moscow. It worked in Germany. So despite war crimes and genocide, we are hearty friends with these nations.

Migration? California loses roughly 65-70,000 people to Texas every year, and neither are Cuba; California also loses 500,000+ annually; it certainly is not Cuba. In 2013, Europe (UN figures) lost 32,000,000+ emigrants!

Our policy is an ugly hypocrisy and a policy of petty tyrants, blind to their own failings whose one-sided frozen logic is forfeiting a vision of a better future for all--the one we have with other rogue nations, even our arch-enemies, but deny Cuba, chest-pounding.

1 2015-09-29 03:56:52 - walterrhett

Bill, your view of the world is wrong. Who are you referring to as "corporate handlers", which are people who employ people and need sales/revenue. So to cut a market out from the business people of the USA is the exact opposite of what "corporate handlers" want. And why would you be against companies wanting to invest in Cuba? All that will do is to increase the lives of the people of Cuba and the USA. As far as "Cuba hanging on", Cuba is not hanging on to anything, a small group of murderous leaders with a single dictator has hung on to power.

0 2015-09-24 04:05:07 - Holly Laraway

Starting with Viet Nam, it has been strict US policy not to have a way out of any war we're involved with. This is part of our overall goal of definitely NOT having any our actions encumbered with adherence to long term goals or objectives. This seems to be the one foreign policy tenant that both Democratic and Republican administrations can agree upon.

2 2015-09-21 05:20:27 - Dave

This editorial puts far too noble a veneer over opposition to better relations with Cuba. It is all about the money. Campaign contributions from right wing ant-Castro zealots to Republicans and Democrats alike is what fuels U.S. policy toward Cuba.

Right now we have a feckless President who gives a little bit of lip service to a more enlightened policy toward Cuba while paying far more attention to the wishes of these reactionary interests.

2 2015-09-20 05:42:12 - AH2

It just makes no sense folks. We have fought wars and made friends of enemies afterwards. Yet for 54 years we have imposed a financial wall against a country for regime change and guess what it hasn't worked, they are still there!They have outlived the reason. Time to open dialogue since the original players are either dead or near there and we have a whole new generation to catch up on.

8 2015-09-13 04:33:02 - ShouldaCouldaWoulda

We hoped to make the economy fail, causing Cubans to overthrow Castro. That failed miserably, so we liked to point to the economic trouble the embargo caused and announce to the world, "See, Castro's socialism is an economic failure." Yes, we're real sons of the unspeakable, since innocent Cubans were the victims of this game. Bear in mind, we were seeking Castro's asasination and overthrow all the while. Cubans are good at security, like they are good at medicine, and good at public education and higher learning. One day, they'll get civil rights.

2 2015-08-28 08:57:42 - Monica Yriart

NYT readers tend to be really passionate about this issue. I'd like to make a contrarian argument.

The embargo is supposed to be in place until Cuba has democratic elections and releases the innocent political prisoners rotting in their jails. Simply put, 6,000 jobs isn't enough reason for me to bow down to the Castro regime. Why do we feel compelled to move heaven and earth for a brutal dictatorship? The path to lifting the embargo is simple -- the Government of Cuba needs to make long-awaited reforms. This is actually one case where we can uphold our principles.

I find it ironic that NYT readers, who normally decry any U.S. policies that smack of machavellian self-interest, feel that we should ignore our principles on this issue. I don't care about exploitation during the Batista regime, the health care system in Cuba, or the supposed idyllic aims of the communist system. The reality is that Cuba is a degenerate, repressive regime that doesn't deserve our dollars until it's reformed. Yes, you can find other examples in the world where that hasn't stopped us. But two wrongs don't make a right.

3 2015-08-22 05:36:35 - Kit

I am a Cuban-American in my sixties, and have watched the evolution of my compatriots' opinions, even in Miami, and even among those now in their late seventies. When I used to express skepticism about the embargo's usefulness twenty years ago, I was met with accusations of having left-leaning, even Communist, ideology (left-leaning was considered insult enough). Now, even my more aged cousins, now close to eighty, think it has been disastrous and has served only to give the regime of oppression a raison d'être. Politicians who are adamant about their support of the embargo have only one thing in mind: re-election.

21 2015-08-14 00:17:26 - José Sotolongo

Walter is feistier than usual in his response to Bruce. Well, good for him. But, he makes South Carolina sound like SUCH an attractive guy! IT BELONGS in New Jersey!

0 2015-08-02 12:13:25 - Richard Luettgen
Unlike America, Cuba has a surplus of physicians and medical personnel that could provide better, cheaper medical care for Floridians and Americans in Cuba for elective surgeries. Also, the more money flowing into the hands of Cuban citizens will create the middle class needed to promote change from within and will do little if anything to support the Castro regime.
5 2015-07-29 15:51:24 - Robert Salzberg

It is interesting to me to see Cuban immigrants who left their home country to come to the US, and now tell us that we should do something to straighten out their home country - whether it makes any sense to the US for us to do so.

When it comes to Cuba policy, Cuban-Americans are the tail wagging the dog. It's past time for us to approach this issue with common sense, not Cuban nationalistic emotions. The hope that maybe, after half a century, just another year or so of sanctions will finally bring Cuba to its knees is laughable.

8 2015-07-18 04:20:58 - Bob Bunsen

Absent human rights considerations, as is the case in this editorial, a fact-based assessment of American foreign policy would be useful instead of reflections about the stumbling block exiles -dubiously emotional- represent to cheerfully surmised American “opportunities” in Cuba under Castro. Based on? Castro’s economic and political track record?
Venezuelan resources spared the Castro brothers from economic collapse after the fall of the Soviet Union –for Cubans a period of destitution, and a brief smothered revolt. The formerly verbose Fidel Castro coined a sinister yet colorful term for it: ‘special period in times of peace.’ Their current lifeline depends uneasily on an economically unstable, and socially stressed Venezuela.
So, ‘reforms’ come, this a drab Raulian term for relaxing a few restrictions allowing some Cubans to keep pocket change, and Castro and his military their stranglehold on the economy. Tourism from Canada and Europe has not contributed to any democratic opening. Repression has increased under Raul Castro.
In more than half a century the Castro brothers have only eased –and then only slightly and briefly- their grip when faced with the possibility of an economic nadir that could jeopardize their power and existence. The former Soviet Union subsidized and protected them for decades, then Venezuela threw in their oil revenues. Who will be next?

1 2015-07-16 15:19:03 - Diana

The two worst US foreign policies (embargo of Cuba and the unquestioning support of the Israeli regime) have been driven by special interest groups in Washington, against the interests of Americans and at a massive cost to our country.
Both policies failed miserably. It is time to have a leadership that cares about the interests of America first.

9 2015-07-14 18:22:08 - 77ads77

Gee, I wonder if the medical brigades in sent to West Africa to fight Ebola, which includes 250 doctors--more than any Western country provided realize they are acting as Iran, a country whose dictator and tyranny the US once supported--and country whose backlash of radical extremism took power when the US failed to support reforms, power sharing, and inclusion.

When many conservatives demand "policy" and "leadership," it is a single-minded emphasis on activating the war machine and turning the screws of belligerency. Or re-hashing the past for reasons that no longer prevail.

I would visit Cuba, a country with near 100% literacy, in a heartbeat for the beaches, music, and food. I doubt that I would be beheaded, ransomed, jailed, or condemned to death by the present regime or harmed in a suicide terrorist attack. Maybe I'm wrong, I see open arms.

19 2015-07-12 03:54:46 - walterrhett

Where do you get your numbers, Gordon. According to HHS, about 23% of the US population receives food stamps, TANF (temporary assistance) or SSI (aid to disabled persons). Your number is even higher than Romney's allegation of 47% of the population being "takers".

Facts are your friends, Gordon. Get to know them.

2 2015-07-06 02:41:49 - vklip

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