With a few words, President Obama has further eased restrictions on Cuba. This isn’t his first time in doing so either. That said, he can’t end the embargo as only Congress can do that by repealing the laws that codified it.
I had to do some reading on the whole embargo thing as I wasn’t even a twinkle in my mother’s eye when the whole thing went down. As long as I’ve been living, Cuba has been a no-no for Americans, and Cubans have gotten special immigration treatment if they reach American soil. That seems like it is going to change, and as all other things, time would have eventually caused it if no other politician had stepped forward to do so. It will be only a matter of time before we have a Congress full of people who were born after everything went down between America and Cuba.
I can’t say I understand the pro or anti feelings over this as this isn’t something that I have an emotional attachment to. Logically, I don’t see a justification for an embargo when it’s blamed on Cuba being a communist country. We’ve traded and dealt with China and Russia for decades, even though both countries have their own vendettas against the US. We’ve exported most of our manufacturing capacity to China in the time we’ve had the embargo against Cuba.
Some people frame the treatment of Cuba because of the treatment of people there by the Castro regime. They’ve been brutal towards their own, but so has China and Russia. They’ve persecuted and executed dissidents, and so have China and Russia. Excuse my youthful naivety, but why penalize the little guy while we reward the big guys in billions of dollars annually?
There are going to be people who agree with Obama, and there will be those who disagree. After all, the sun did rise in the East this morning. I’d bet that many people my age and younger who have no connection to Cuba really don’t understand why we’ve continued the embargo this long anyway.
Whether anything good comes from this will be revealed in due time. You can’t go on forever hating someone as that hate will eventually consume you and change who you are. If we’re the “great spreaders of democracy”, what better way to show that is there than doing what Obama did? As far as I can tell, he’s basically made it legal for people to bring $400 worth of Cuban goods back to America, including $100 worth of cigars and rum. Anything beyond that has to be done by Congress, and I don’t expect the Do Nothing Crowd to change their ways anytime soon.