Wednesday, October 31, 2007

End Cuban Embargo Now

For the 16th year in a row, the United Nations General Assembly urged the U.S. Government to end the 41 year-old embargo against Cuba (sign up for the UN's email newsletter here). This time, the vote was 184-to-4, with one abstention. That's a strong madate from the rest of the world. A clear message to the Bush Administration to do the right thing. The Embargo is neither compassionate, nor conservative. It is punitive and mean-spirited, designed to make life as hard as possible for the people of Cuba, in hopes they will overthrow a government we do not approve of. Hasn't happened in over four decades. You'd think we'd get a clue. If we are really interested in having a meaningful impact on Cuba, soft power is the tactic to explore. And not only in Cuba. Just consider where being the world's policeman and punishing perceived threats has gotten us to date. Not very far, by the looks of all the available evidence. And our belligerent behavior has made us many enemies, where we once had friends. It makes sense to end the Cuban embargo on many levels: humanitarian, ethical, foreign-policy, and of course, musical. The author is anxious to get to Havana in this lifetime; listen to some fine Samba and Merengue; and sample some real Rum and cigars.

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