Fidel Castro’s regime has wrongly imprisoned outspoken political opponents.
For profit, we have imprisoned 2.2 million people thanks to repressive mandatory minimum sentencing laws. And in the United States, we still punitively place inmates in solitary confinement, which is ineffective and gratuitous.
Critics of the now-underway process of defrosting our relations with Cuba ask what are we getting in return? Well for one, we get rid of a restrictive, harmful, legacy policy that has stood against almost everything the U.S. supposedly stands for.
Once you’ve seen one musty old power vacuum, you’ve seen ’em all.
Curiously, those who preach the wonder of capitalism are opposed to allowing it in Cuba. Nonetheless, flotillas of Americans, including our very own official New York State delegation, are rushing to experience Old Havana. I always wondered what a U.S. invasion to dissolve the power of the Castro regime would look like.
I promised myself I’d avoid doing this in 2014: First pun of the year! For the sake of Cubans the Cuba embargo needs to end, though with a thawing of relations also needs to come a dialogue and reckoning with an unsavory Castro government over its major human rights abuses over the decades.
President Obama’s resumption of diplomatic relations with Cuba is another welcome (and overdue) thawing of Soviet-era, Cold War policy relics. However, Sen. Rubio of Florida said there’s no way Congress is going to repeal the spectacularly effective 1961 embargo designed to weaken Castro. So despite Obama’s popular overtures, one shabby old wall from the Soviet era will remain.