The Cuban Divide

Eleven Million Cuban Nationals vs 856,000 Cuban Americans

Walter Smith | 6/20/2017, 2:06 p.m.
The United States embargo against the Cuba government is a commercial, economic, and financial embargo imposed in March of 1958. ...

The United States embargo against the Cuba government is a commercial, economic, and financial embargo imposed in March of 1958. In 1960 the U.S. placed an additional embargo on exports to Cuba except for food and medicine after Cuba nationalized American-owned Cuban oil refineries without compensation. In 1962 the embargo was extended to include almost all imports.

The UN General Assembly has, since 1992, passed a resolution every year condemning the ongoing impact of the embargo and declaring it to be in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law. In 2016 the U.S. voted with the rest of the UN family to lift the sanctions on Cuba.

Subsequently the Obama administration initiated easing of the 58-year-old embargo by announcing that the U.S. would allow individuals to travel to Cuba for “people to people” educational trips and lift limits on the use of American dollars in transactions with Cuba, wiping away stiff restrictions on travel and commerce. President Obama also prepared to make a trip to Havana, the first visit by a sitting American president in 88 years. “We are not seeking to impose regime change on Cuba,” Mr. Obama said, asserting that “the embargo is outdated and should be lifted.”

“This directive takes a comprehensive and whole-of-government approach to promote engagement with the Cuban government and people, and make our opening to Cuba irreversible,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “Challenges remain and very real differences between our governments persist on issues of democracy and human rights but I believe that engagement is the best way to address those differences and make progress on behalf of our interests and values.”

As the U.S. eases its commerce and travel restrictions in Cuba, hundreds of airlines, hotel chains, telecommunication firms and other companies became anxious to begin the business process. Corporations such as Airbnb, Tyson Foods, Cargill, Mastercard, Net flick, several airlines and cruise ship companies have begun doing a robust business in Cuba. The partial lifting of the embargo was a positive step in the right direction. It was another one of Obama’s signature legislative initiatives.

This was a bit much for Donald Trump who is the subject of a criminal investigation for obstruction of justice. This investigation could be properly extended to obstruction of progress, and obstruction to America’s “Greatness”.

Eleven million Cubans celebrated when Obama lifted the embargo. They saw hope and renewed relations with their families in Florida. To placate the 856,000 Cubans living in Miami Florida, Trump during a recent visit to Miami declared, “ the Obama administration's "terrible and misguided deal" benefits only the Castro regime. He said the regime, founded by Fidel Castro and now run by brother Raul, has spread "violence and instability" throughout the region.

"Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba," Trump declared as he made a full-throated assault on the government of Cuban President Raul Castro. Cuban President Raul Castro’s administration said Trump’s speech was “loaded with hostile rhetoric that recalls the times of open confrontation.” Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., said Trump’s policy was “misguided” and will hurt the U.S. economically.