In this stunningly rational editorial in yesterday’s Palm Beach Post, the paper provides its readers with the answer to the question that has perplexed US administrations for almost half a century: What does the US need to do to help the innocent families in Cuba?
The exile lobby has been bad for the U.S. but good for politicians who grovel before it. In 2000, George W. Bush got an estimated 80 percent of South Florida’s Cuban-American vote. With reelection approaching in 2004, Mr. Bush figured that he could double down on the issue. He restricted family visits by Americans to one just every three years, not annually. He cut remittances, the shipment of money from Americans to relatives in Cuba.
Mr. Bush got his second term, but some of his supporters in 2000 abandoned him because he had gone too far, which he had. Yet Sen. McCain would stay out on that fringe, even though as a candidate in 2000 he criticized the embargo. Two days after Sen. McCain’s speech, Sen. Obama supported keeping the trade embargo in place but lifting the family travel and money limits. It would be in America’s best interest to also end the trade embargo, but any change would be better than no change.
There you have it, my friends: The change that is needed in US policy towards Cuba is simply CHANGE.
How could we have missed that simple answer for so long?