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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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  • Andrew Allison

    Do you really expect the Castros to go quietly? History, currently being re-played in Venezuela, Brazil, etc., suggests otherwise.

  • Fat_Man

    Obama managed to cave in to the Castro brothers without extracting a single concession on behalf of the brutally oppressed Cuban people. It is shameful. Any American who travels to Cuba as a tourist should consider himself to be bathed in the blood of liberty loving Cubans, who still rot in the Castros’s gulags.

  • Frank Natoli

    Fidel happened in 1959. The vast majority of present day Cuban-hyphen-Americans have zero memory of the island. As National Review noted many moons ago, Americans of Latin American ancestry overwhelmingly think like big government Democrats with the single exception of Cuban-hyphen-Americans, and that solely because of fond hopes of return to the island. Now, with no memory of the island, Cuban-hyphen-Americans are indistinguishable from all others of Latin American ancestry.

  • delta 5297

    Hardliners in the U.S. will no doubt claim that the Cuban regime is still behaving in a brutal authoritarian fashion, and that lifting the embargo is a reward they don’t deserve. While it’s true that the regime is still fairly repressive, the society beneath it is shifting, and the ideology of socialism is all but discredited. It’s simply a matter of time before political change comes to Cuba. It is also more likely that this change will occur sooner than later if the embargo is lifted. Increase traded and contact with the outside world will empower Cuba’s middle class and expose Cubans to new ideas. And the Cuban regime will also be less able to make the case that America is a hostile interloper. Ordinary Cubans may desire regime change, but that doesn’t mean they want to see that change imposed and implemented by Washington. With the supposed “threat” from America lifted, Cubans will be more likely to turn their attention to the behavior of their government and begin to demand change.

    • Fat_Man

      “Cuban State Security hunted down and arrested more than 200 peaceful dissidents on the day before Obama’s arrival to the island.”

    • Dale Fayda

      This is probably the most deluded post on the reality of life in a socialist country I’ve seen in many years.

      “While it’s true that the regime is still fairly repressive, the society beneath it is shifting, and the ideology of socialism is all but discredited.” How is Cuban society shifting, exactly? Any examples? The Castros are openly cracking down on every vestige of political dissent and rubbing it in the face of our boy – king and the rest of the liberal useful idiots. The entire world (except the US) has been dealing with Cuba for decades and it hasn’t made one iota of difference in their political system. Gee, and the “discredited ideology of socialism” sure appears to have made a remarkable comeback in the minds of the Bernie Sanders’ of this world, along with a pretty large swath of micro-brained American leftists, who don’t even bother to hide their affinities for it any longer. What on earth would make the Cuban Communists abandon it, now that Obama has thrown them a financial lifeline?

      “Increase traded and contact with the outside world will empower Cuba’s middle class and expose Cubans to new ideas.” There is NO middle class in Cuba and there hasn’t been one since Fidel declared himself a Communist shortly after assuming power. You do know that in a Communist society middle class doesn’t exist; not by definition nor in practice. There are only masses of helpless supplicants of the grotesquely failed socialist state and a tiny layer of Communist apparatchiks, whose pathetic sliver of prosperity (and only in comparison to the literally hungry masses) is wholly at the mercy of the party. And to what “new ideas” will the Cubans be exposed, of which they’re currently unaware, pray tell?

      No, chico… All of us (including you) know what this is about – Obama is a die-hard leftist and this is his homage to one of the few remaining hard-Left regimes in the world. His trip there is a pilgrimage, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro are his idols and he will tolerate all the blatant disrespect the Castros are currently heaping on him, because it pales in comparison with his goal of legitimizing this corrupt, repressive junta. All the wishful silliness you listed above is just that – a back-ended attempts to explain away Captain Transparency openly showing his inner Marxist.

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