The Great Flip

Cuban-Americans have changed their mind about the embargo, and many of those clamoring hardest for it to be lifted are Cuban-American businesspeople. The Wall Street Journal:

“We had to decide whether we were going to be an obstacle to a transition in Cuba or an asset to that transition,” says businessman Carlos Saladrigas, 68 years old, who in 2000 founded the Cuba Study Group, a nonprofit that pushed for U.S. engagement with Cuba.

Their change of heart mirrors a broader shift among Cuban-Americans. In Miami-Dade County, Cuban-American support for the U.S. trade embargo fell to 48% in 2014, from 87% in 1991, according to polling by Florida International University.

Having support from such an influential group of businessmen helped give the president political cover as he pursued a major shift of policy, say Cuban-Americans and former White House officials.

This is only the beginning; as change on the island proceeds, we are going to see the rise of a new Cuba Lobby, one that will support various forms of aid and assistance to the country.

Cuban-Americans are a large and well organized group of voters with a long track record of political activism in both parties. After sixty years of communist folly, Cuba is one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere. It’s in America’s interest to see a stable transition and prosperous future for this neighboring country; Cuban-Americans are likely to play significant roles both in American and Cuban politics going forward.

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