As an unbiased silent observer of world affairs, I applaud the incumbent American President’s change of course on Cuba. Amazingly, so do many of my friends of different and varied thought. To say that they love neither Raúl Castro nor Barack Obama is an understatement.
Many are impressed by Mr Obama’s plain statement of fact: isolation has failed, and after more than fifty years the people cannot reasonably expect it to produce a different result. They are exhausted, and when the news was announced they felt a stirring, a faint hope that finally something might move. What exactly will change of course remains to be seen.
There is loud and maybe expected resistance in some sections, and queries are sure to arise about the relationship between the new policies and the requirements for diplomatic recognition. At the same time, however, there is hope for the two parties’ support for a new approach. Keep your fingers crossed as regional peace seems inevitable by this magnanimous act of faith and trust on the part of one man.
Now, however, when US-Cuban relations truly normalise, we will finally get a test of what some analysts think will be “a process far more likely to produce positive change for the Cuban people.”
Rather than relying, through inertia, on an anachronistic and increasingly ineffective policy of isolation, let Cuba be flooded with US ideas, products, dollars, and tourists. It worked wonders for helping to end the Cold War.
Let’s see if the new reality can enhance prospects for a peaceful transition as well in Cuba.