I know I made a promise to myself to not let issues of a political nature fire me up during this honeymoon period when we have a President-Elect and an outgoing President huffing his last gasps. Time to take a break and consider things I actually have some control over should I choose to exercise that control. And I did that for almost 2 months until this morning. I was busy with the mundane efforts homeowners all go through. Cleaning up the garage, building stuff for the garage, and generally just enjoying quality time with my garage. And then I heard the dreaded four letter word "Cuba" on NPR coming out of the mini ghetto blaster I have set up down there.
Those quality moments of puttering in the garage were instantly ruined. For some reason I have allowed a sore to fester over Cuba and our continued stupidity regarding that country. SO if this comes off as a rant, well, so be it. It won't change anything, but it might just get Cuba back into perspective again for me.
I personally do not care for Cubans any more or any less than I care for any other group from outside our borders. I have no soft spot for them. But I do have that sore festering. It's been festering since oh, I guess about 1972 or so. The year may be wrong but it makes my point. In the fear filled years of the Cold War peak during the 1960s, the embargo of Cuba may have made some kind of sense to someone somewhere. But by the time the 1970s came, our grudge began to look more like that of a sore loser than of a country making any kind of real political or diplomatic point. And now 46 years after we instituted it, the Embargo has evolved into just plain stupid pigheadedness. The threat of Communism is over for it would seem the foreseeable future. Free market economies won the war. Even China seems to have morphed itself into some kind of odd version of what we have. Any threat Cuba may fling our way is now nonexistent.
So why do we insist on continuing to snub Cuba? In a word, or maybe two words, Fidel Castro. It is not because he is a commie. It is not because he buddied up to the USSR. It's because we blew it every time we tried to overthrow him. Instead of blaming ourselves for our inept efforts, we heaped more blame on him. Castro made chumps out of us. In front of the whole World. And we still hold the grudge.
It is my opinion that the Embargo has had the opposite effect of what we had intended. Instead of weakening Castro inside his own country, it bolstered him and helped to support his allegations against the US. If ever there was a perfect example of US Diplomacy badly conceived and then poorly carried out, it is the Embargo of Cuba. Without us they survived and it is obvious they can continue to for as long as they need to.
I understand that now it is more of an internal political issue. We don't want to piss off the voting children of the Cuban exiles who beat feet after Batista was overthrown. They need to get over it. As do all of us. The time to normalize relations is now. Let's lose the Embargo. It never worked as intended and the time for it to be dropped is way past due. But Fidel will probably have to be dead and buried before it happens. Damn, we are stupid somtimes.