It is expected that the Obama Administration will announce this week the easing of U.S. sanctions on Cuba by allowing increased family travel to Cuba. This politically myopic decision will be done to mollify lobbyists and interest groups seeking closer relations between in the U.S. and Communist-run Cuba. It will do nothing to advance U.S. interests.
The Bush Administration wisely limited not only travel, but also limited remittances to the island. Travel, however, has been the crown jewel of the quest and the Cuban Communist Party apparatchiks, with their high-paid lobbyists in Washington, DC, supported by various U.S. corporations and non-profits, have been seeking to change the travel law for decades.
Interestingly, on the heels of the Cuba policy announcement, comes another travel-related decision by the Obama Administration. It seems like protecting penguins and albatrosses has become a national imperative and the Obama Administration wants to limit travel to Antartica.
If the Obama Administration is willing to limit travel by Americans to Antarctica, for very dubious policy and scientific reasons, why is it so opposed to limiting travel to Cuba to weaken the Cuban regime’s access to hard currency?
Limiting travel by Americans to Cuba has been a political and economic thorn on the Cuban Community Party. Cuba desperately needs travel to prop up its Caribbean Potemkin Village. The more we can limit access to hard currency, the sooner the Americas will be free of the Castro brothers and their supporters.
If they are willing to limit travel for the sake of the penguins in Antarctica, they should be more than willing to enforce a robust travel ban to make it harder for state sponsor of terror Cuba to survive. Contrary to the arguments against U.S. policy you will hear this week, our policy has not failed (it has barely been enforced). It is the Cuban regime that has failed its people.
Rather than play domestic politics by doing favors for domestic constituencies, the Obama Administration should make a sober review of its options and the ramifications of helping the Cuban regime stay in power. If it does this, and makes advancing U.S. national interests the core of its policy toward Cuba, it will reach the cold conclusion that we need to enforce current law for a change by limiting travel, remittances, and other things clearly outlined on the books for years.
For those of you that need a refresher about the Cuban Communist Party, read this latest post by Wes Vernon: “Cuban spies penetrate Washington, call the shots on U.S. policy“. It makes some good points and includes several links on stories by other folks that clearly understand why it is not in the U.S. interest to engage with a government that has killed American citizens, among other things.