Should We Lift the Cuba Embargo?

Here’s my short answer to lifting the Cuba embargo: Yes!

“The United States has had a trade embargo against Cuba for more than 50 years, but according to the latest survey, a majority of Americans favor normalizing relations with the Communist regime.”

Maybe at the time an embargo was a good and proper policy. I’ve always believed, however, that the free flow of ideas and trade are the best ways to get people to see the flaws in their own system and the possible benefits in another system.

The Cuba embargo has benefitted the Castro regime and has hurt the Cuban people. This is typical of political “saviors.” Wars and walls empower politicians on the broken backs and dead bodies of the people.

When the Cuban revolution started, the people did not count the costs. Their immediate goal was to throw off the tyrant. They expected freedom, but they got a new and more insidious tyrant. It happened in France in the 18th century and Russia in the 20th.

Over time, after 52 years, several generations have grown up in Cuba under Fidel’s rule. In most cases they don’t know what a relatively free society is like. All they’ve known is the “glories” of the revolution. Some of the disillusioned are still wearing Che Guevara apparel most likely made by greedy capitalists making a buck off their misery.

What would happen if they saw the prosperity in the United States? Just 200 miles from Havana, Cuba, an exiled Cuban culture is thriving.

If you’ve ever taken a cruise in the Caribbean, every ship sails around the big island. The other ports and islands benefit from the tourism trade.

“More than 60 percent of Americans support lifting all economic restrictions so that Americans are able to do business in Cuba, removing travel restrictions to the country and allowing Americans to spend money in Cuba.

“More than 60 percent also said Cuba does not belong on the list of countries that the United States designates as sponsors of terrorism, which also includes Sudan, Syria and Iran, saying that they do not believe Cuba poses the same risk to the nation as the other countries.”

Once people in Cuba get a picture of what a free society is like, there will be those who will question the existing regime. They will ask why they have to drive cars that are 50 years old and older and why the vendors selling food are sparse with goods when supermarkets in the United States are bulging with food.

While Cuban President Raul Castro “has legalized small-scale, private businesses in nearly 200 fields since 2010, . . . [he] has issued tighter regulations on businesses seen as going too far or competing excessively with state enterprises. In recent months, the government has banned the resale of imported hardware and clothing and cracked down on unlicensed private videogame and movie salons.” One step forward, two steps backwards is the communist way.

If you didn’t know that the person who said this was Raul Castro, you might think that it was something a spokesman from the Obama administration said.

Many freedom loving people in Cuba are restless. “Then came the backlash, with entrepreneurs bemoaning thousands of dollars in lost investment and moviegoers saying they were exasperated by heavy-handedness toward a harmless diversion.”

A 72-year-old retired state worker said, “I’m 72 and I’d like to see the light at the end of the tunnel before I die.”

Maybe opening free trade and removing travel restrictions will help Americans see what can happen to a once thriving nation when government is seen as the revenue-stealing “benefactor” and not the servant.