Thursday, December 18, 2014

Restoring Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

We have diplomatic relations with Vietnam.

And with the People's Republic of China.

Shoot, up until just after Pearl Harbor, we also did with Nazi Germany.

And we had them with the USSR from 1933 until the USSR collapsed in 1990.

So, it's about time we had renewed relations with Cuba.

Not because we think Cuba's government is nifty, but rather because we don't like it.

We broke relations with Cuba when Fidel Castro, whom we edged up on liking beforehand, declared himself and Cuba to be Communist. At the same time, we imposed a trade embargo on the country.  The thought was that isolating the country like that might bring it back around.

Well, it hasn't worked and there's no sign that its going to.  But it has made dealing with our little Communist neighbor difficult and its brought about a lot of misery for people who have cross border affairs between our nations.

Time that the relations be reestablished.  And for that matter, the trade embargo should go as well.  Chances are a lot better that an increased stream of American tourists and money will operate to undercut the isolated nation's Communist government a lot better than the ongoing shunning has been.

Now, I know that this will upset some, but these appear to be the incontestable facts of the matter.  And continuing to lack diplomatic relations only serves to hurt U.S. interests on the island and to boost the respective interests of other nations.

And lifting the trade embargo would allow free trade between the US and Cuba to the benefit of both nations's people.  That would seem to benefit the Cuban government as well, but chances are it really would not.  If we seek to have Cuba change its government and liberalize, the best way to do that is increase U.S. tourism and trade to the island, which will boost the economic fortunes of the average Cuban.  Once that occurs, they're going to want to exercise some freedom and will pressure their government into reform  The reasons would be fairly simple, and while such arguments are not fool proof, the increased money in the hands of average Cubans, and the increased exposure to a society that lives with rights that benefit the citizens, will lead to the means and increased desire on the part of Cubans to have their own government reform.

That desire is already there, but the iron fist to the Castroist regime keeps the country from opening up.  The general example from Communist countries is that the support for Communism is nearly always remarkably thin, and once the population has some means and independence, it begins to desire more.  That hasn't worked, yet, everywhere.  China doesn't have a democratic government yet, and neither does Vietnam, but they seem to be getting dragged by their populations that way.  Cuba, which never really had a Communist movement comparable to that of Vietnam or China has a western population that's been constantly exposed to the United States by way of its close proximity to us, and to other western nations by way of tourism.  Chances are high that progress would occur there much more rapidly.

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