Ploop! Ploop! The noise you hear is the heads of old right-wing, conservative, reactionary anti-Commies exploding as President Obama single-handedly loosened some restrictions on Cuba.
Well, it's long past time is all I can say. That economic embargo was ridiculous from day one. Embargos rarely work unless you have all hands on deck and this one had only our hands on it so of course it wouldn't work worth beans, except to make common Cubans miserable while leaving Castro untouched.
What we should have done is welcomed Castro down out of the hills, and immediately started selling his people Levis and Coca-colas and later satellite dishes and iPods. Connection, baby. Connection and engagement is what it's all about. In a wired world what's needed is MORE wire, not less.
We didn't learn that in Vietnam on account of right-wing, conservative, reactionary anti-commie old poops either. Did Vietnam want out from under the yoke of the French? Fine. Did they want to organize their country as a communist/socialist structure -- distribute the wealth, reorganize their country as they wished? Fine also. Start selling them Levis and TVs and millions of people wouldn't have had to die. Just give people time and the seductiveness of American/western culture and goods and the benefits of controlled capitalism becomes clear to everyone. Even China, with our engagement, is slowly turning towards "modified" capitalism. Commie China now becoming a capitalists' wet dream. That's how powerful the jingle of a few coins in the pocket are.
And Iran? All those young Iranians with designer jeans under their robes? Seriously? Engage, engage! More wire! More wire!
I know the pro-embargo crowd is even now crying about what an awful man Castro is as a reason to continue the boycott. Phooey. We have been in bed with an endless number of murderous thugs when it benefited us to do so. Including Saudi Arabia, some of whose citizens, if you recall, flew planes into the World Trade Center. Castro is no different.
Instead, I'm sure the old right-wing, reactionary Republicans will make sure when they take over in January that the new Embassy in Havana won't be funded and they'll pull all kinds of tricks to shut the door again. Stupid. Let's hope cooler heads prevail in the Senate, but I won't hold my breath because Americans -- especially old right-wing reactionaries -- just don't ever seem to learn anything