Way back in 1959 there was a popular uprising in Cuba against a ruthless and corrupt dictator named Fulgencio Batista, who had maintained power with the backing of the U.S. Government. During his time in power it was widely known that Batista had forged a business partnership with the renowned gangsters Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano who had, for their part, turned Cuba into a veritable international drug and prostitution haven. Yes, the revolution was led by Fidel Castro and, yes, when in power, Castro quickly formed a communist government that wrongly appropriated the land and assets of many innocent people. And yes, as a result, our government immediately punished Cuba with economic sanctions and soon, in April of 1961, endorsed a failed military raid on the island that became a fiasco at the Bay of Pigs. But that was long ago.
Of course, since that time we have continued to punish Cuba with economic sanctions, even though we are virtually the only country on earth that continues to do so. (And, ironically, this policy strongly helped to keep Castro in power, because he was always successfully able to blame almost everything that went wrong in his country on our sanctions.) But at least with the fall of the Soviet Union, and Cuba’s incumbent loss of the subsidies that it received from that failed country, Cuba has increasingly turned to the Free Enterprise System. And now with the death of Fidel, and his brother Raul transferring power to a new government, it is well past time for the United States to choose to stop punishing the people of Cuba with these sanctions. Realistically Cuba poses no threat to the United States, and the People of Cuba are at least now entitled to Liberty! And we should all do our part to make it so.