Let My People Go .. to Cuba

The Future of American Power
March 11 2012 8:30 AM

Let My People Go .. to Cuba

cuba vintage car
And the wait continues ....

Photograph by Jorge Rey/Getty Images

For decades now, the US embargo on virtually all ties with Cuba has rested on the flawed logic that Cuba's regime had to change before any substantial change in US policy would be possible. Besides ceding the initiative to a dictatorship - never a good idea - the reality is that all Washington has provided for the brothers Castro is an excuse for their failed state: yanqui imperialism, in the form of the embargo, is blamed for everything, and Cubans who express any desire for their own ties to America villified as traitors.

Michael Moran Michael Moran

Michael Moran is an author and geopolitical analyst.

It's boring, by now, to note what a titanic failure this half century-old policy has been, a foot fetish of a foreign policy that makes a mockery of the United States. We giddily trade with China and even made nice with Qaddafy in his final years of insanity, but Cuba - no, Cuba bad. Dangerous threat to the soft underbelly .... blah blah blah.


Do the Castro's deserve anything from Washington? No. They're venal dictators and opportuniist, self-aggrandizing fools who have kept their country impoverished and backward for their own personal reasons.

But the Cuban people deserve better. The recent slight opening of travel restrictions trumpted by the Obama administration - allowing academics, journalists and artists to go to the island - is absurd. As someone who worked at Radio Free Europe/Radio Libery when the Soviet bloc collapsed, and who traveled to Cuba during a brief opening in the 1990s, I can promise you nothing would kill the Castro regime faster than kindness.

A full opening to tourists and US investment would transform the island. This would destroy the idea projected by Castro's propaganda machine that Americans are monsters bent on reimposing 19th century vassal/slave status on the island. Instead, they would reimpose jobs and reunited hundreds of thousands of divided family members.

A few weeks ago, an opportunity to do this slipped by the wayside - thanks to the usual political factors. A Ft. Lauderdale company had been hoping to establish a car ferry service to the island allowing 500 or so vehicles at a time to transit back and forth. But Treasury decided that granting such a license would be “beyond the scope” of US policy.

It would also be “beyond the scope” of Obama’s reelection calculus, of course. Sadly, Cuba policy remains trapped in Dade and Broward counties rather than a means of projection US interests.

So absurd is our Cuba fetish at this point that even Fox News is publishing op-eds calling for lifting the embargo!

Perhaps in a second term, Obama might take such a step. Then again, I remember saying exactly the same thing when Clinton was reelected in 1996. I'm still waiting - and Cuba's people are, too.

Follow me on Twitter, or pre-order my book, "The Reckoning: Debt, Democracy and the Future of American Power," coming April 10 from Palgrave Macmillan.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.