Thursday, February 22, 2007

End the Sanctions!

I would love to hear one good reason why the embargo on Cuba shouldn’t end. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez thinks that we should continue the embargo to force change in Cuba. How stupid is this? Seriously, how does stopping American companies from selling their products to people who need and want them going to force change?

This scenario is different from North Korea or Iran because the hope is that domestic support for aggressive foreign policy and weapons programs will dry-up when people can’t buy a bag of rice. Sanctions may, or may not work, but at a minimum there is a coherent goal that can logically be achieved. Cuba is in no way a threat to the United States. Their system of government and economics may be backwards but that is not our business.

I do understand that many Cuban immigrants living in Florida hold deep resentment towards Fidel Castro but this is no way to conduct foreign policy. The Senators and Representatives from Florida do have somewhat of a logical reason for supporting the sanctions: they are representing the wishes of the people that they represent. Since Secretary Gutierrez represents the entire nations commercial interests he should logically be for, at least tacitly, promoting commerce.

So why is he such a big supporter of sanctions? It seems that he is promoting a policy based on a personal grudge. It is unfortunate that he had to experience hardship while living in Cuba at a young age but his position requires national interests to come before personal considerations.

Someday this little spat will be rescinded and I will run, not walk, to my travel agent.

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