Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Lucy, I'm home!

How many Cubans does it take to screw in a light bulb? I'm not counting, but it never has taken many Cuban "exiles" to direct our relations with the island nation that lies only 90 miles from Key West. For most of my lifetime, it's been nearly impossible to travel there legally and the effects of our embargo have done little to change anything for the better either here or there. Indeed the Sugar subsidies designed to hurt Cuban sugar sales have done stupendous damage to the Florida ecosystem and our trade policies have been a benefit to other nations that trade with them.

A handful of very powerful anti-Castro immigrants have had the rest of us supporting their Castrophobia and its consequences since the 50's but a change may slowly be emerging. Fewer and fewer of the more and more "Americanized" Cubans believe in continuing the unique and uniquely non-productive policies and President Obama was successful in restoring the right of Cuban-Americans to visit relatives and to send money.

Of course it's wrong. The idea of restricting travel or permitting it based on one's ethnicity or national origin is as out of date as segregation and it needs to be addressed. The the freedom to travel to Cuba act, introduced this year in both the House and Senate may just pass over the traditional opposition of the Cuban Lobby, much of which still asserts that increased American tourism will not change anything in Cuba, thus ignoring the collapse of European Communism and the steady retreat in Asia. They're wrong of course, but the tide is turning from bellicosity towards pragmatism, diplomacy and the power of prosperity to overcome Communism.

One of these days I'm going to make that trip.

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