Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The EU Engages Cuba's New Castro

Going its own way, four days ago the European Union agreed to lift five year-old sanctions on Cuba - defying U.S. pressure to stay the course. Read the Associated Press article here. The Libertarian Party of the United States promptly admonished the Bush administration to take a lesson and follow-suit. Read their arguments for ending the embargo here. The Author has also argued for ending the embargo in this previous post.

Simply put, there's a new Castro in charge of Cuba these days and he's making some tentative international gestures and domestic moves designed to ease the Island's authoritarian socialism. Recent moves, reported in The Independent, include giving citizens access to computers and cell phones; rental cars and previously exclusive tourist hotels.

Raul Castro appears, according to press reports, to be enamored with the Chinese approach to economic change and the new, party-controlled free market that is flourishing in China. This provides the West with opportunities to engage the new leadership and to encourage positive change. That's just what the Europeans recognized and are acting to leverage. The U.S. would be well-advised to pay attention. Again, The Author is anxious to enjoy a fine cigar and some real Rum and Salsa at sunset on the promenade in Havana.

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