27 November 2008

Respecting Cuba (part one of a twelve step program to a new US policy on Cuba)

Although not President Bush's most urgent failure, his effort to support the Cuban people has nonetheless been an abject failure.

Now, since I am the change I've been waiting for, since change starts at the bottom--or since all that--I propose the following actions:


(1) Abandon and vacate our claim to Guantanamo Bay.

(we don’t belong there.)

(2) Repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act.

(It’s unjustified, subverts families, and, quite apart from the obvious brain drain, the very brains competent to change the Cuban government, the CAA creates a wicked incentive for all kinds of people with all kinds of motivations to risk their lives in make-shift boats, and, in turn, for good parents to worry sick about their children in those vessels. Enough already!)

(3) Write a law now that prohibits Americans from investing in Cuban property for the first 14 years after Cuba “opens up” (if and when it “opens-up”).

(we need to demonstrate to the Cuban people, not only that we renounce unequivocally our past greedy behavior toward their nation, including their land, but also that our desire to see Liberty on the island is not self-serving.)

(4) Collaborate fully with the Cuban government as part of the region’s civil defense against Hurricanes (an effort that can (and should) be undertaken with the other Caribbean, Central and South American nations).

(the goal should be nothing short of a state of the art system and the envy of the international community.)

(5) Scale down Radio Marti transmissions.

(it’s obnoxious. Truly, it's one thing to go to the town square and speak one's mind. And we should not stop doing that. but it's quite another thing to walk up to one's neighbor's window and shout shit about the way they run their household. Indeed, if you did so in America, you'd probably get shot to death.)


I believe that taken together, and without talking to the Cuban government first, these measures will resonate a message across the island that, whatever we may think of their government, we respect the nation of Cuba itself, a gesture that in the hearts of the ordinary Cubans we profess to support is long overdue.