If you are a member of the TEA Party or a true Republican, your assertion is that anything President Obama does is bad for the country. If he turned sand into gold, he would be the cause of inflation. Today his announcement of seeking a relationship with Cuba after 50 years of embargos and denouncement is an effort to rescue the Cuban people from ostracism for conditions which have no comprehension and no memory for most Americans.
The arrogance of our government for more than 20 years has denied the existence of the Cuban people. They have relatives here in the United States. Most of them have no memory of Castro’s military takeover of their country, or the 1963 Cuban Missile Crisis. Castro himself is an old man in ill health and has no little or no influence over his country.
The negotiations began 18 months ago with talks between President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro. The result was facilitated by the Vatican and Canada. An American, Alan Gross, and an accused American spy who is unnamed, were exchanged for three suspected Cuban spies who were held for over 15 years on Wednesday.
The President maintained that American policies vs. Cuba have failed to find common ground and advance the decade’s old policies which have failed to end the enmity between the two countries, whose borders are only 90 miles apart. Mr. Obama is encouraged an increase in economic relations between the two nations, and the exchange of debit and credit card information between the two nations. Travel between Cuba and the United States will see fewer restrictions, although open tourism will remain an unresolved issue. The trade embargo will not be removed until Congress re-convenes in January.
Discussions will continue regarding political detainees, free elections, and human rights. Embassies will be opened in both countries to attempt continued diplomatic efforts on both sides.
In polls conducted by several agencies and throughout the 21st century, most Americans support attempts to secure a positive relationship with Cuba. The Cuban population in Florida is divided, mostly by age. Older Cuban refugees remain angry at the Castro regime which was to blame for the existence of tens of thousands of Cuban refugees. Younger citizens of Florida view the President’s action as an opportunity to regain a relationship with relatives in the ostracized nation of their ancestry.
As expected, Republicans were quick to criticize the President’s actions.
The most hypocritical was from Florida Senator Marco Rubio. He denounced the President’s position, claiming it was supportive of Fidel Castro’s Communistic regime. He accused the President of placating Cuba’s leadership. He reached backwards to the condemnation of President Eisenhower and his denouncement of Castro and the future of Cuba. He followed the Republican line of living in the past and failing to address the present.
Cuba is not an enemy of the United States, and is not presently considered a terrorist nation. The people of a nation with close ties to the United States deserve more.
Politics must step aside at some point and face reality. Rubio, and other members of the GOP must face the fact that they reside in the 21st century and the world is a different place.
Castro was; the Cuban people are the now.
By James Turnage