And it’s not worked since. What I’m referring to is the Cuban economic embargo, which President Obama has directed the federal government, finally, to relax. It was instituted by President Eisenhower in July of 1960 after Fidel Castro ordered the confiscation of American assets in Cuba. And it’s been upheld by Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and by President Obama, at least in its present form, up until now. This refusal to trade with the island communists, in place for nearly 51 years and lasting through eleven presidential administrations, clearly, obviously and consistently has not worked to remove those pesky Marxists just 90 miles from the southern tip of Florida. Even when the USSR collapsed and Cuba lost their last main source of financial and military support, they still managed to survive. They’ve demonstrated that they don’t need to trade with us, and that their existence, while it may be more difficult, will still continue, whether or not they engage in commercial activities with the Yankee imperialists to the north. American policy towards Cuba is the equivalent of plugging your ears and saying ‘LA LA LA LA LA LA I’M NOT LISTENING!’ over and over again.
The reason we have these policies in place? A very vocal, very well organized, very well financed, very conservative, minority emigre community of exiled Cubans in south Florida who are laboring under the delusion that somehow, someday, they’re going to return to Cuba, oust Fidel and Raul Castro, and reacquire the possessions that they lost during the Cuban revolution. Which has about much chance of happening as the Romanovs have of reclaiming the imperial throne of Russia. That is to say, it’s not ever going to happen. Ever.
That this didn’t work in the first decade of this asinine policy’s existence should have been the the end of it. But it’s persisted, not inexplicably, at the insistence of the Cuban community in Florida, despite the fact that it hasn’t achieved its goals or advanced the interests of the US. Frankly, I wish the President had just thrown out the entire policy and opened up trade with the Cubans, but Obama’s more pragmatic, more incremental than I am. Hopefully we’ll see the entire policy scrapped at some point soon. But, during that period, be prepared for companies to make inroads into Cuba as it begins a gradual move to economic liberalization, well in advance of their American counterparts being able to operate at full capacity there. This is a policy that’s costing us money, and, ultimately, jobs.