New York Times: End the Embargo
Ah, the Grey Lady speaketh.
In today's New York Times, the editorial department came out in favor of ending the U.S. embargo on Cuba. It also came out against re-admitting Cuba into the Organization of American States.
I think both positions are laudable.
Yesterday, at the OAS meeting in Honduras, the hemispheric organization repealed the act that suspended the Cuban government from membership, while conditioning actual return on adherence to the organization's (democratic) principles.
That's smart. It denied Venezuela the wedge issue it sought in the OAS, while also avoids triggering Senator Menendez's threat to suspend U.S. funding for the international body if Cuba is re-admitted.
But ending the embargo is another matter. The embargo is, as the NYT editorial board puts it, an "anachronism" and it is doing more to support the illiberal Castro regime by giving the government a perpetual excuse for poor performance and by giving them a ready-made enemy around which to rally Cuban national pride.
Both the president and the secretary of state have argued in favor of "tough but smart" diplomacy. Now is a time for getting even smarter on Cuba. With the OAS meeting behind us, the Obama administration has another window for ending the embargo on its own terms, and delivering to the nations of Latin America and our European partners change they can believe in.
That kind of real change, rather than a change in rhetoric delivered in well-crafted speeches in world capitals, will do more to convince global audiences that the United States has changed and changed for good.