Open trade and tourism with Cuba is perhaps the greatest economic opportunity for both the U.S. and the Gulf nation. Only 90 miles from the tip of Florida, Cuba’s cultured goods, beautiful coastline, and varied interior remains untapped as an American commerce hub. Decades after the end of the Cold War, the American government still views Cuba and Castro as a relic compendium of a Soviet hold-out.
What are the principles that keep us from opening up to Cuba? Surely, the American government cannot see the Cubans as bad people. Conversely, we give billions of dollars in American aid and military equipment to folks who want to squelch-out any vestige of Western civilization. Do the Cubans want to snuff out their neighbor to the north? There is not any indication of this. Perhaps in Fidel Castro’s youth with Khrushchev smoking Cuban cigars, there may have been a level of animosity that rivaled the radical Islamic Jihadists.
But that is not the case now. Fidel is effectively out and Raul has one foot in the grave. The Soviet threat is no more and Central American meat-packing glitterati have gone the way of Manuel Noriega.
America has nothing to fear and nothing to gain by punishing the great people of Cuba. However, America and Cuba have everything to gain by opening up trade and tourism between the two countries.
America can improve its economy and raise the economy of impoverished Cuba. Americans can purchase cultured goods manufactured in this hemisphere and enjoy a coastline, which rivals that of Key West. The increased, positive economic activity will depose any form of tin-horn dictatorial government. Even the feared; wait for it… Dut da da duh! Communist! Why shouldn’t the government do the right thing in this case?
Any comprehensive immigration reform should include an olive branch to our good neighbors, the Cubans.
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