Saturday, July 31, 2004

Restrictions May be Backfiring on Bush

In a New York Times article, it states that Bush is finding opposition on the initial restrictions to Cuba. The opposition is on the travel restrictions and relief packages. After much debate, there was a vote to ease the restriction on sending relief packages to families. The problem Bush is having is that there are recent Cubans immigrants that still have strong ties with their families from the island. They find it hard being able to see them only once every three years.

Now, I believe the Cuban embargo has failed because it has not gotten rid of Fidel Castro. What it has done is further alienate the Cubans on the island that do need the relief packages or money sent to them. I'm going to give a perfect example on this issue. I have family that still lives in Cuba. My parents have to send them money because they can't survive without it. A few years ago, their roof had collapsed and they did not have the means to replace it. My parents had to send them money. Once the money got there, they bought the necessary supplies and replaced it. How could you not send any money to them? What do you do, let them live in house with the roof gone?

The travel restrictions are just as bad. How can you only allow one visit every three years? What if your mother is dying? You visited the island last year, and now you can't see her die. Is that reasonable? When both of my grandparents died, my father was not able to be by their side. I think that's horrible. You should be allowed to visit in situations like these.

I would be all for the embargo if it was effective, but it's not. All Cubans, exiled and from the island, have suffered enough with the policies of the Cuban government. We do not need more restrictions. What we need is dialogue between both governments to open up. Castro would probably ease up because he's receiving help. He accepted help from the Soviet Union over forty years ago. Now that the Soviet Union is gone, who else could help Cuba? I'm not saying he would become a saint, but he would have to cave in to the United States.

Besides if the United States was so interested in getting rid of Castro, than they would have done so during the Bay of Pigs. But as history reminds us, Kennedy called for the withdrawal of the troops. We left those Cubans that were fighting there to die. We could also invade the island now and get rid of Castro. The pact that we made with the Soviet Union that we would not invade the island after the Cuban missile crisis is no longer valid because there is no Soviet Union. Although, that would probably be a waste of life since Castro is not young anymore. He's 74 years old. Even if he lives to be 100, he won't be able to run the country for that much longer.

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