It is time to grant Cuba "full diplomatic relations"
by Reading on Walden Bookstore, Tue May 27, 2008 at 01:54:09 AM EDT
For nearly fifty years the United States have shut out an island that is ninety miles from American soil. Of all the Presidential candidates this election, Barack Obama has come the closest to saying he would extend an olive branch to Cuba by having face-to-face talks with Cuban leader Raul Castro. But he falls short of ending this destructive embargo against the Cuban people. Fidel Castro wrote an editorial critical of Obama but also reaching out to Obama as a great hope for Cuba. It is clear that Castro understands American politics and knows that his best hope is Obama.
HAVANA (AP) -- Former President Fidel Castro says Sen. Barack Obama's plan to maintain Washington's trade embargo against Cuba will cause hunger and suffering on the island.
In a column published Monday by government-run newspapers, Castro said Obama was "the most-advanced candidate in the presidential race," but noted that he has not dared to call for altering U.S. policy toward Cuba.
"Obama's speech can be translated as a formula for hunger for the country," Castro wrote, referring to Obama's remarks last week to the influential Cuban American National Foundation in Miami.
We need to end the diplomatic freeze against Cuba. The fact that Obama has said he would meet with Raul Castro is an important first step, but it needs to be pursued toward "full diplomatic relations." The argument that they are a Communist country no longer holds water. That shipped passed long ago when we recognized the USSR many years ago and currently have full relations with, yes, Communist China, although few refer to it that way anymore. China has in fact become an important ally with the United States.
So why the paranoia about Cuba. I am convinced, and it is not based on any evidence I have found, that had Nixon finished his second-term in office, he would have taken the next logical step and recognized Cuba too. It took a life-long Commie basher like President Richard Nixon to open the doors to the old USSR and China. Nixon had his personal demons and had self-destructive tendencies, but I grudgingly admit that he a was simply brilliant analyst and policy-maker when it came to world affairs and understanding how the world fit together.
So if a Commie-hating Republican like Nixon could seize the historical moment when he open the doors to the USSR and China, then it is difficult for me to understand the missed opportunities of Jimmy Carter, who didn't open the doors to Cuba in his four years, or the missed opportunities of Bill Clinton during his eight years when he failed to open the doors to Cuba. Presidents like Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George Bush never had a vision of the world, so I would not have expected them to open the doors to Cuba.
I have high hopes that Barack Obama, should he become the next President, will right this grievous wrong against the Cuban people. John McCain, should he be elected, would continue the stale foreign policies of his Republican predecessors Reagan, Bush and Bush.
The policy seems to be that when the Castro passes on, we'll think about opening the doors. But we are not punishing Fidel and Raul Castro in our failure to do the right thing. We are punishing the great people of Cuba. We are depriving them of basic needs and that is inhumane. We should be ashamed of our policies. Cuba is hardly a security threat the the United States. But I would be willing to bet if they were a military threat to the United States, we might be more willing to sit across the table from the Cubans.
I hope and pray that the next President of the United States brings humanity back to the world stage. Cuba would be a great start. Reading on Walden Bookstore.