Letters to the Editor
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is the son of Cuban parents. He is angry that President Obama is restoring relations with Cuba. Conservatives in general agree with Rubio, with notable exceptions such as U.S. Senator Jeff Flake. Flake happily went to Cuba to accompany the return of Alan Gross, who had been held in a Cuban prison for five years.
Senator Rubio called President Obama insulting names and he made some utterly false claims. Rubio said that President Obama’s opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba would put Americans all over the world in danger, because now they know all they have to do is take an American hostage to get whatever they want out of the Obama administration. I predict that ISIS will not change their behavior one way or the other because of President Obama’s Cuba policy. They will still take American hostages when they can, and behead them, except if it happens in the future, Senator Rubio will blame President Obama’s Cuba initiative.
Senator Rubio was especially irked that President Obama asked Congress to lift the embargo. Rubio said that would be removing the only leverage we have against Cuba. This embargo began in October of 1960 under Eisenhower and was enlarged in 1962 to include almost everything. The Castro brothers have survived the embargo under eleven U.S. presidents. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, somehow expecting a different result.
Marco Rubio was born in 1971. The embargo was already in place for eleven years when Rubio was born. This is 54 years of empirical evidence that the embargo is not working. What is it about the conservative brain that denies empirical evidence? Exactly what leverage is Rubio talking about? In which century does he think it will finally work?
Furthermore, our Cuba policy has earned us the disrespect of almost all South America. The United Nations has voted almost unanimously 23 times to urge the United States to drop the embargo, with only the United States and Israel voting against it. The vote was 191 to 2. Do we think the whole world is crazy and we’re the only ones who know anything?
Incidentally, the United Nations also praised Cuba for their help in Africa against Ebola. Cuba has an advanced medical system.
I don’t understand how we can call ourselves a “free” people and go anywhere in the world except to Cuba. I have been legally to Communist China. I have friends who have legally visited Communist Vietnam, where only a short time ago 58,000 Americans died in years of warfare. Everybody else in the world can go to Cuba and trade with them. Cuba is an important tourist attraction to Europeans. Only Americans can’t go there. Unbelievable.
When the new Congress takes office in January, Marco Rubio will be the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. Senator Rubio promised that the embargo will not be lifted, as President Obama has asked, and that no ambassador to Cuba will ever be confirmed. Rubio promised to unravel all the foreign policy changes to Cuba that Obama is making.
What did we Americans do to deserve a conservative brain like Marco Rubio in such a responsible position?