March 10, 2008, The Indianapolis Star
1st step toward change for
The end of Fidel Castro's rule provides an opportunity to ease the pain of a half-century-long repressive era in Cuban history. Fidel's younger brother Raul's ascension could mean a Cuban opening is on the horizon.
At age 76, whether Raul Castro is a reformer or not will not change the fact that
My view is that beginning to normalize our relations with
As far as the embargo goes, its major benefactors have been politicians seeking support in this country and anti-American leaders overseas in need of talking points -- not the Cuban or American people. The embargo has failed to achieve regime change in
But ending the embargo is hardly a solution in and of itself. Though its repeal would allow Cubans and Americans to trade, invest and travel, we must recognize that
As we have seen in other countries subjected to despotic rule, the wounds of tyranny are deep, and we cannot treat them brazenly. Also, Raúl Castro and his elite chums will not go to bed tonight communist revolutionaries and wake up Jeffersonian democrats tomorrow morning. Deng Xiaoping and the Chinese may be more likely economic role models. Change will be gradual.
Certainly, we can engage in informal, unofficial exchanges with a country 90 miles from our border that shares some of our cultural fixations, like baseball, as those who followed the World Baseball Classic in 2006 know.
Building up an economic relationship could also pay dividends. The recent pandemonium in
We could relax the travel ban. Academic exchanges would be welcome too, allowing university students to establish bonds that could form the foundation of a new era of Cuban-American amity.
It is time for responsible, relaxed, non-interventionist approaches in our policy toward
Hurrah for Lee Hamilton.
Hoosier voters can help bring about the beginnings of change in
He favors unrestricted travel and remittances by Cuban Americans as a first step and is prepared for negotiations with
Hillary Clinton's position is virtually the same as George Bush's.
Read here what they said in the
(now living in