Saturday, August 07, 2010

Policy Whose Time Has Come?

It is possible to have common sense policy for personal political reasons. This might be one of those:

Glasnost and Perestroika for the Caribbean

The motive of the Messiah most assuredly is an appeal to the Latino demographic in America in an election year. But, that doesn't make it a bad idea.

Back in the early '60s when Eisenhower and JFK sequentially bungled and blundered through Cold War policy and nearly tipped us into global war, it might have made sense to isolate Cuba. It showed that we wouldn't tolerate Soviet client states in our backyard.

Now nearly sixty years later, most of the justification is gone. The Soviet Union collapsed twenty years ago. Castro's communism is obviously a failure. When he dies momentarily, the nation will continue on a path of economics over politics which inexorably means the Chinese model of embracing free market principles. Whether a single-party government continues is almost irrelevant if the business interests are so intertwined that any causes for international enmity evaporate.

The Soviet Union was brought down largely by exposure to the West. When the people realized that we weren't that much different from them and we were so manifestly better off, they threw off the yoke of central planning and bureaucratic stagnation that controlled them. The dominoes then fell in the opposite direction that Dulles envisioned.

Cuba knows that they are being held back. We know it as well. Opening the doors would surely create a huge market for American products and Cuban vacations. And, that doesn't even address cigars and rum.

It's time, even if Obama's motivation is simply to insure that he wins Florida in 2012.

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