Saturday, December 27, 2014

Obama’s policy shift the right thing to do

Obama's policy shift the right thing to do
12/25/2014 2:00 PM 12/25/2014 9:51 PM

When it comes to this country's relationship with Cuba, our absurd
decision, also from very long ago, to allow Cuba policy to be run
parochially from a small ethnic enclave in South Florida had turned
politics into the art of the impossible, as far as our Cuba policy was

Exhibit One for this act of political alchemy may well be Jeb Bush's
recent speech at a luncheon in Miami, hosted by a Cuban PAC that yearly
spends loads of money on keeping the United States' stale and arrogantly
defended policy to isolate and strangle Cuban society.

Bush, whom I consider a sensible and sensitive politician capable of
saying what he thinks and not just what his audience wants to hear, was
clear about how our foreign policy should be conducted: free from the
constraints of domestic political concerns. And then — shazam! —he
turned the task of dislodging our foreign policy from the clutch of
lobbyists who specialize in holding common sense hostage, into the
impossible by kowtowing to those who bought him lunch, vouching for the
continuity of Cuba policy and its hardening even.

And then, on Dec. 17, President Obama performed his own act of political
alchemy, resetting Cuba policy back in the realm of the possible.

If we truly understand what democracy is all about, we must recognize
that all Americans should be allowed to weigh in on the Cuba policy and
other matters involving foreign policy. I have a hunch that if that
national discussion ever takes place — not easy, since most Americans
couldn't care less about Cuba — the vast majority of our fellow
Americans will agree with the president's decision and endorse this new

And they will do so not just because it is economically expedient; they
will support it because it is the right thing to do. Because the embargo
and its impact on Cuban society as a whole is unjust, and keeping it in
place is an affront to the dignity of both sovereign nations, Cuba and
also — and foremost — to the dignity of the United States and what it
stands for. That is the message the U.N. General Assembly, all the
governments in our hemisphere, popes and even our closest allies have
been sending us for many years.

Of course, many of those in Bush's lunch audience still believe the
world at large is wrong, and they, and they alone, are right. That
everybody else has a faulty "communist detection" device; that they have
all sold out to the Castro Brothers' gold or are terrified that two
octogenarians in a Caribbean island could reach out with their hairy
hands and destabilize their countries. There is even a manual out there
explaining how everyone who does not see the world as these folks do are
little more than idiots. But hey, this is Miami and we do things
differently here.

We need to free Cuba from American politics, and this is a task for all
Cubans to undertake, even those who answer with Pavlovian applause
whenever an American politician hollers a Viva Cuba Libre! somewhere in


Source: Obama's policy shift the right thing to do | The Miami Herald -

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