Monday, February 23, 2009

Rethinking the Cuban Embargo

In the Indianapolis Star this morning is an article about Indiana Senator Richard Lugar urging that Congress and the Obama administration rethink the strict embargo toward Cuba that has existed for 50 years. In the report scheduled to be distributed among his Senate colleagues this week, Lugar says the embargo gives the Cuban government a "scapegoat" for the nation's economic difficulties.

The embargo has failed to change Cuban behavior for 50 years and should be considered a failure. While there are sound arguments for the embargo, the isolation of the island nation has not worked to bring about change. Now is the time to steer another course. Lifting the Cuban embargo (in exchange for guarantees by the Cuban government), would begin to expose the Cuban people to American ideas which would eventually lead to breaking the hold the Communist regime has over its people. That formula has worked elsewhere. Now is the time to try it in Cuba.


Patriot Paul said...

My gut reaction is that Obama will have Lugar spearheading a fact-finding delegation and after Congress repeals the embargo, we can sing 'we are family'. Using a republican not only staves off criticism from Hillary bashers, but adds merit that if a Republican wants it, it must not be too bad an idea.
50 years of isolationists' policy only works if other trading countries are on board. It appears Castro's regime has outlasted America; at least enough to see American Socialism on the rise. We are well on the way for Obama's philosophy that if you can't beat'em; join'em. We held a carrot of advancing human rights and the rabbit did not bite. Our capitulation begs 'Do we now have more in common with Cuba than with the ideals of liberty our forefathers had?' Is free trade at any price an option?

varangianguard said...

I have never been sold on the idea of a Cuban economic embargo anyway?As one can easily see, it hasn't gotten us anywhere.

Sean Shepard said...

It has always seemed unAmerican to have a policy of "we don't like your politics, so we're going to bar our people of visiting or trading with you".

All we do is harm the people of those countries in an attempt to manipulate them into 'rising up'.

varangianguard said...

What a surprise to myself to say (to an avowed Libertarian), good point on a foreign policy issue, Sean. You are absolutely correct.

Anonymous said...

We're not a free country until we can choose to travel without being antagonized or prosecuted by our own government based upon the destination that we choose. I recall when I was much younger how Soviet bloc citizens were prevented from traveling to western states. The very idea of that kind of suppression was and is anethema to me. I see no distinction between the restriction of Soviet citizens from travelling to the west and the restriction of US citizens from traveling to Cuba.
My opinion is very similar to that of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura who was followed in Cuba by the CIA. He told the head CIA agent within Minnesota government that if it ever happened again, he'd find his agents in the river.
I agree 100%. Freedom is not free. We need to be proactive when we face oppressive government action as a result of flawed policy that is designed to benefit private interests.