We can protest and rally and rhetorically stand with the Cuban people, but that’s not enough. What is called for is the overturning of Trump policies toward Cuba–including restrictions on trade, travel and remittances to Cubans–that had undone what President Obama did to normalize relations. In short, rescind the Trump Administration designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. And it would help if we changed our delusional, Cold War-induced United Nations vote on the embargo.
And speaking of the embargo, the Administration should engage with–even this–Congress in efforts to finally overturn a policy that has been a blatant, counterproductive failure for nearly 60 years. One that cut off Cuba’s access to financing and imports. The ensuing national conversation–although heated and replete with the usual illogical ideology, retribution and posturing–would still underscore the hypocritical reality that while the U.S. has normal relations with corrupt, authoritarian Saudi Arabia and communist Vietnam, we can’t find a way to get along with Cuba, a neighboring communist country with dire needs.
It’s hardly incidental that as vice president Joe Biden oversaw a policy that in 2015 restored full diplomatic relations with Cuba. And he, to be sure, knows that yet another political diversion is problematic, given his challenging agendas. But he also knows what’s right–from humanitarian as well as geopolitical perspectives–and what would ultimately benefit both post-Castro Cuba and post-Trump America.