Friday, April 17, 2009

Thoughts on U.S.-Cuba Relations

Days after President Obama eased travel restrictions to Cuba, Raul Castro said he wants to talk with President Obama and put "everything" on the table.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described Castro's comment as a "very welcome gesture" and said that U.S. policy towards Cuba has failed.

On the eve of the OAS summit in Trinidad, its Secretary General is calling upon member states to reinstate Cuba after a 47-year absence.

If President Obama were to succeed in normalizing relations with Cuba it would be a big feather in his cap. But let's stop and think about this for a moment.

Under what terms would normalization be brought about? When I hear "normalization" it leads me to believe that life in Cuba won't be all that different. Oh, there might be a few cosmetic changes to give the appearance of more openness. They might allow a protest or two but they won't create an environment where a viable opposition can coalesce. The Oscar Elias Biscets of the world will continue to languish in prison and don't count on free and fair elections, either.

Why that might bring hope and change to Cuba.

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