“Deepening pain and unrest in Cuba are provoking bold actions that the U.S. government should note,” according to an editorial in the St. Louis Post Dispatch today. After decades of economic stagnation even Fidel Castro recently noted “the Cuban model doesn’t work anymore.”
What spurred Castro’s comment and the editorial is the dramatic change taking place 90 miles from our shore. After decades of economic erosion the worldwide recession is ravaging Cuba, an island nation of 11 million people who largely are dependent on imported food and many other products.
As the editorial points out the Cuban economy has been faltering since the since the Soviet Axis collapsed in 1991 and withdrew its economic support that had become so ingrained in Cuban politics and culture. Cuba lacks a modern manufacturing infrastructure today but what they do seem to have is a growing awareness that they will need to seek foreign investment and outside sources of private capital if they are to bounce back.
The Post rightfully points out the ripe opportunity that presents itself to improve our relationships with one our nearest neighbors. After 58 years of nothing but acid-based rhetoric being the only commodity traversing the Caribbean Sea, it is time to regroup and reconsider our relationship with Cuba.
Politics come in many shades and flavors but human nature is not so different. Many Cubans struggle to get enough to eat, so like new neighbors (or at least reformed ones) let’s reach out with the hand of friendship.
It might produce some positive results, especially if that hand contains the aforementioned food they need. We have the opportunity and the means but do we have the will to do what is right?
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