Research: Commentary

Keep the U.S. Trade Embargo Against Cuba?

Washington Post, October 24, 2014 | Letter

By Wayne Smith

The editorial board wrote that the United States should not end the trade embargo against Cuba until that country grants “genuine freedom to its people.” That is what might be called an all-or-nothing approach. The Post acknowledged that “Cuba has toyed with economic liberalization and lifted travel restrictions for some” but said the persecution of dissidents continues. There is some truth to that, and many would agree with some of The Post’s other reservations.

I was a friend of Oswaldo Payá. I would like to see a satisfactory explanation of his death. And while I believe Cuba has moved further toward liberalization than the editorial board suggests, I’d like to see it move much further — and more rapidly. I have worked toward this goal for many years. But I also believe the best way to bring that about is through engagement and dialogue and not through continuing the embargo and a policy of hostility. The overwhelming majority of Americans — and Cubans — agree.

CIP in the Press