â€œthe U.S. embargo has too long served the Castros as a pretext for cracking down on dissidents. Try something else.â€
I just returned from Cuba where I was working on a documentary and I could not agree more. Though they don’t have a free press, Cubans had no hesitation about expressing themselves freely, on camera no less, including both criticism (and praise where it was due) of their government.
There were too many arrests for minor “offenses” and too few basic items including a variety of decent food and long, ridiculous lines for things like toilet paper, ice cream, buses, etc..Â but crime and education didn’t seem to be the big issue it is in many third world “democracies” in Latin America.
Cubans truly seemed to love the U.S. and the freedom it represents. Most have families or friends in the U.S. and I saw so many T-shirts with things like the American Flag and U.S. sports teams I thought I was in a mall in Minnesota.
There is a big gulf between the Cuban people and the Cuban government and the best way to speed up both human rights and help in meeting the basic needs of the Cuban people is to allow U.S. citizens unfettered travel to Cuba.
Continuing to do what you’ve always done expecting different results is the definition of insanity. To allow a small group ofÂ people with longstanding grudges in the U.S. to wield so much influence on our foreign policy towards Cuba is undemocratic and frustrating.
“Try something else” indeed. I think the Cuban people would agree, the sooner the better.