As you might expect, there are, two views on President Obama’s olive branch to the Castro brothers. And an olive branch is really all that is in place so far. Before the embargo on Cuba is entirely lifted, Congress is going to have to get into the act. The 1996 Helms-Burton act calls for the government in Cuba to move toward democracy and free markets before the elimination of the economic embargo. So, as the Washington Post rightly points out here, Obama is constrained from actually lifting the embargo. The Post talks about Obama basking in global adulation. Seriously? The Post also talks about giving the Castros legitimacy. With whom? The brothers are murdering thugs who in the right setting should receive a late night visit from a SEAL team, and the Cuban people, with a lot of help from America, could get on with developing a prosperous economy.
America is not abandoning the dissidents, far from it. The Cato Institute’s Juan Carlos Hidalgo writes, “Given the ossified status of the relationship between both nations, frozen in time for decades despite the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, Washington’s engagement is significant and welcome.” Agreed.