Slipping in the Western Hemisphere

Another End Run - This Time by the E.U.

We all read about how the progress we made in The Americas has slipped badly during the W. Bush years. Really too bad.

So now there is an opportunity to do some fix-up. With Fidel fading in Cuba, we could step in and encourage our island neighbor to move away from their failed communist orthodoxy. We could rejoin our old bonds (not the ones with American gangsters) and build a potential ally, trading partner and, eventually, friend. Heaven knows we need one. If there was ever a chance to open a new chapter in inter-American relations, this is it.

But ... Nah, we will keep up our failed policy of an endless embargo, mainly to pander to all those Cuban immigrants (whose property was confiscated and who can never get it back until we have a legal relationship with Cuba. Huh?).

Now the European Union is reestablishing a full relationship with Cuba. They will start reaping the benefits and influencing the direction Cuba will go. Of course they "imposed tough conditions," on the deal, but they did it, not us.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from a Washington Post story on the whole thang:

The US, which maintains economic sanctions against the Caribbean island, condemned the action. “We certainly don’t see any kind of fundamental break with the Castro dictatorship that would give us reason to believe that now would be the time to lift sanctions,” said Tom Casey, state department spokesman.

Louis Michel, EU commissioner for development, said it was a “positive step forward. The EU-Cuba relationship has been in a state of limbo for several years. This decision clears the way for a more open and frank dialogue on a range of issues including human rights, the environment, science and technology.”

Oh yeah, we don't DO that kind of thing any more.

Have a bogus Cuban cigar and ponder that.


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