We’ve seen this movie many times before. It starts with a country giving Cuba a line of credit or going around the US embargo. It is followed by high expectations that Cuba will change once Cubans in the island greet foreign tourists or Spaniards build hotels.
However, the movie always ends the same way: Cuba can’t pay the loans and Cubans are still living in a repressive state.
We’ve seen that movie several times since the collapse of the Soviet Union in ’92. Just ask all of the countries who’ve had to reschedule their loans to Cuba or just forgive old ones.
This is why I’ve supported the US embargo.
I have not seen any evidence that lifting the embargo will bring democracy to Cuba or help the Cuban people. On the contrary, lifting the embargo will simply bail out the communist state and put more dollars in the Castro family accounts.
Our policy should be very clear and simple:
First, no talks at any level until Cuba releases Mr. Allan Gross unconditionally. Simply hand him over to the Red Cross so that he can be reunited with his family. No meeting or talks until that happens first;
Second, the world should demand a democratic transition in Cuba. No more “wishful thinking” about reforms that don’t really reform or “expectations” of change that never comes.
This is the moment for the US to draw the line and say “enough” in Cuba.