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What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?: Left of Center View

In 1959 Fidel Castro overthrew the Batista regime in Cuba bringing an end to its reign of terror over the people. Since then Cuba has had its issues with human rights but they have also developed one of the best healthcare and education systems in the world for their people. They have true universal health coverage and their literacy rate puts America to shame. The ďcommieĒ bashers would have you believe that there is nothing good about Cuba. Now that Fidel Castro has handed the reigns over to his brother America has an historic opportunity for major change in our relations with our relatively close neighbors to the south of Florida.

The likelihood for change in our relations will depend on the person we choose in November to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Our choice for the next President will probably determine if we continue to pursue Cold War mentality policies or begin to mature as a country and embrace the peoples around the world who hold no more ill will toward our people than we hold for them. If you talk to people you are more likely to bring about compromise and change than if you refuse to have any contact with them. Over forty years of staring contests with Cuban leaders is probably enough. Itís understandable why the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations did not talk to Cuba but beyond that it has been little more than bull-headedness on the part of our leaders.

There are serious opportunities to improve our standing in the world by working with the new leader of Cuba to bring about economic and social reforms in Cuba. In the same way that trading with China has brought some economic and social changes, resuming trade with Cuba under the new leadership could be a great opportunity to spread the best of American values to the Cuban people. Cuba also represents a diplomatic doorway to dealing with other adversaries such as Venezuela and Iran who trade with Cuba. Under the right leadership America could become the great healer of the divides that have caused so much pain and death throughout the world for so long.

There is no doubt that we have the military might to force our ideals on many countries around the world but we would be better served through the use of gentle persuasion. It will be the hardest for the old guard hawkish politicians to swallow but the gain is well worth the effort. A world of peaceful coexistence is possible if we can just learn to set aside our bigotries and assumptions of the past and embrace the opportunities for peace that present themselves. Raul Castro is not Fidel and very well may be more willing to talk about reforms than his brother but we will never know if we donít talk to him. How many Cuban-Americans would be able to return home to see their families for the first time in years if we just were a little more flexible in our relations with Cuba? Last time I checked the family is supposed to be the most important traditional American value.


L.J. Finstermore - World Citizen | E-mail Comments on this column.

Got a liberal viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Migrant Farm Workers and the Cost of Groceries

Send in your view from the Left to be our featured Left of Center View for the week.

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Last Week's View from the Left:
High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Multiculturalism and the Holidays
Unsafe Imports: Who's to Blame?
Amnesty and Elections
Undocumented Nannies and Politics
Terrorists at the Gates
Drugs and Immigration
The Border Fence
American Immigration Abroad
Port Security
Setting Standards for Legal Immigration
Diplomacy And Immigration
Gangs; Importing Criminals
Cultural Migration
Archives by Date




What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?: Right of Center View

For over forty years we have had a policy of no normalized relations with Cuba. In large part this is due to the presence of Fidel Castro as the leader of the Cuban people. When Castro took power in 1959 he declared that there would be free and open elections in Cuba within eighteen months. From that time until this those elections have not happened. Cubaís government has been a repressive communist regime under the totalitarian rule of Fidel Castro. The retirement of Castro brought about a change in leadership but again, there were no elections to choose that leader. Raul Castro was installed by his brother Fidel to lead the nation for an indeterminate amount of time with no indication that any input by the people of Cuba will be sought or considered in determining the future course for Cuba.

Given that it seems that nothing has changed greatly in the leadership for Cuba, it seems logical to assume that nothing will change in our official relationship with Cuba. Cuba will still be run by a repressive regime and the U.S. will still stand for everything that Cuba does not. Some have posited that because Raul has been more willing to talk about the economic problems in Cuba that he may be some force for change in Cuba. For those of us who live in the real world it seems highly unlikely that Cuba will suddenly become a free society and bastion of good will toward the United States because one Castro was replaced by another.

So for you and me this means that we will still see people risking their lives on tire boats making the sixty mile journey across open ocean waters to America in order to escape the tyranny of a totalitarian communist regime. We will still have basically illegal immigrants that we donít need in our economy coming in to take more jobs from Americans. But unlike their bretheren from Mexico because of our national stance on Cuba we won't refuse entry to them once they set foot on American soil so we'll be stuck with them whether they are useful to the economy or not. We will still have a thriving Cuban underworld economy in Miami and other areas of South Florida because once they get here we wonít send them back. We will still have to break the law to take a puff on a Cuban cigar and the beat goes onÖ

Long story short, more than likely the new leader of Cuba means squat for America. Itís still a communist country that refuses to change for the betterment of its people and we donít really need to be doing business with that kind of country. God only knows why our leaders decided China was ok but I think it had more to do with dollars than sense. That one seems to be biting us in the butt these days considering the number of Chinese goods recalled in the last couple years. Maybe the good people running things in Washington will figure out that doing business with commies is probably not the best thing for America and translate our no-trade policy with hostile communist regimes like Cuba to at least refusing to take any more dangerous crap from China. One can hope anyway.

J.J. - American | E-mail Comments on this column.

Got a conservative viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Migrant Farm Workers and the Cost of Groceries

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Right:
High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Multiculturalism and the Holidays
Unsafe Imports: Who's to Blame?
Amnesty and Elections
Undocumented Nannies and Politics
Enemies At The Gates
Drugs and Immigration
The Border Fence
American Immigration Abroad
Port Security
Setting Standards for Legal Immigration
Diplomacy and Immigration
Gangs; Importing Criminals
Cultural Migration
Tariffs, Safety and Fair Trade
Archives by Date

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally ďThe RaceĒ in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isnít really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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