I am surprised no one else has mentioned this rather earth-shaking event before now.
Barack Obama did not need Florida to win the election, but it chose him anyway. What is significant from the point of view of Cuban-American relations is that a major part of the electorate who voted for him was a majority of Florida’s Cuban-American population. Screw Marco Rubio’s fallacious pretense of being one of the “refugees”, forget all the traditions of the past that guaranteed a Republican majority, Obama stole it out from under the forces of the Miami Mafia, and boy are they pissed….......jejeje.
That group of angry old-guard Batista-loving Cubans who have forever spent millions buying congresstitutes to insure the embargo would stay in place, are showing more than their liver spots and wrinkled skins, methinks. These guys have lost their grip on the control of the CA population in Florida, and even a few of the elected “representatives” elsewhere who they bought to maintain their power base. This is a quantum shift in Cuba-US relations that cannot be overstated, imho.
There has never been any rationality to the idea that the embargo and travel restrictions was doing anyone anywhere any good, but these MM guys spent everything they had pretending that there was. The only influence the embargo had was to insure Fidel had a scapegoat he could point at to explain away all of his dramatic failings as a leader. The maintenance of the embargo was the thing which most insured that Fidel was welded in place and going nowhere and that no forward progress would ever be achieved.
What the arcane, impotent embargo has done for five decades is to insure that the very people both sides of the issue pretended to champion, the Cuban people, were going to continue to be mired in poverty. A poverty less dramatic than many areas of Latin America perhaps, but a poverty not just of things, but of dreams. A poverty of hope whose impact it is impossible to imagine unless you live under its dream-snuffing limitations. Cuba may have better health care than elsewhere and Cuba may have a higher literacy rate than the rest of the Americas. Cuba may have a lot of such things other countries do not, but one thing it most assuredly does not have is a sense that there might be a brighter tomorrow, unless outside influences prevailed. It may not be grinding poverty, but it most assuredly is guaranteed poverty. I’m not sure which is worse. How one can weigh which things are more important than the others, I do not know. That’s for each of us to decide for ourselves, and we need to acknowledge that we choose from the ignorance of never really knowing what it is to experience either of those awful options and from the safety of never having to experience either of them.
At the top of my wishlist, all of those of us who fervently supported both Obama and the Cuban people have long prepared and edited, is his elimination of this awful embargo. I want him to make that happen not as an act of courage, but as an act of common sense and political savvy that would only have positive upsides, both in America, but, perhaps more importantly, on the world stage. On the way the world views America.
He has already “recolored” the way the rest of the world perceives our country (pun intended). He is undoubtedly the most popular character on the world stage. His removal of the embargo could make him a luminous egg, a semi-deity….....hehehe.
For a few decades now the world, via the United Nations, has said to the United States that they need to stop imposing this unfair and crippling “embargo” on this little island. As difficult to believable as a scenario in a Kurt Vonnegut novel, however, a tiny group of tail-wagging dogs in Florida, have kept that from happening. The Miami Mafia has vetoed the world’s voice, mandated the US policy for Cuba, and held the people they pretend to care about as impoverished hostages. That has to stop and it has to stop now. The only downside option that kept the Miami Mafia in place, the Florida vote, the kingpin that has for too long held this failed and tragic policy in place, has fallen away. We need a man who is not just bold, and Obama has shown himself to be bold, but who is bright enough, and Obama is clearly that, to realize that the time to lance this pustule that has for too long festered on the epidermis of world relations, has arrived.
This is a zit whose time has come. Pop it for all of us,
Broncobama. Further cement your place as one of the people in history who did so much to make the world a better place. This option might, at first blush, appear to be risky, but methinks a closer examination will reveal it to be an almost perfect one, a Lily with all the gilding.