I’m opposed to the four-decades-long embargo against Cuba. First, I don’t think it has worked. It’s true that Cuba is a poor nation, but Castro is still in power. (‘Give it another ten years or so. He’s sure to be out of office eventually!’) Other countries have business there, and they seem to be doing well. I think that if the embargo were lifted, U.S. companies would do well too. I’m sure many U.S. citizens would love to go to Cuba on holiday. More employment would help improve the lot of the poor Cubans, and may weaken the hold Communism has on the people. I think lifting the embargo would be good for U.S. businesses, good for travellers, good for people who may want Cuban products, and good for the Cuban people.
And yet, the trade embargo persists. While it’s not impossible for U.S. citizens to travel there, it’s not that easy and there are a lot of restrictions. Why?
It seems to me that the Cuban-American community in Florida are holding up progress. Many of them had to flee Cuba, and they’re still pissed off. They are a significant number of votes in Florida, and a political candidate who advocated opening trade with Cuba would probably not have their support. S/He might very well lose the election. Florida also has a large number of electoral votes in the Presidential elections. Lose Florida, and the candidate may not have enough votes to become President. So it seems to me that U.S. policy re: Cuba is being held hostage by a single community in Florida.
I’ve no real interest in visiting Cuba myself. Yeah, it might be nice someday; but it’s more a case of living in The Land Of The Free and not being allowed to travel freely. That being the case; that is, I haven’t really looked into the situation, I’ll admit that my assessment may be incorrect.
What do you think?