Sunday, December 28, 2008

Obama Libre?

Raise a glass of everybody's favorite ironically-named drink, the Cuba Libre, and celebrate: the Cuban Right Wing voting bloc in Florida has finally been broken. Obama won Florida by a decent margin, despite having signaled he would be willing to negotiate with the Castro regime with a mind toward ending the Embargo. This is heresy among right-leaning Cuban-Americans who hold sway over the Florida electorate and have delivered Florida to Republicans in all but four presidential elections since the revolution. Even Bill Clinton lost Florida in 1992. This bloc, and their associated lobby in Washington, would have the Cuban people starve to death rather than grant the Castro government any semblance of legitimacy. But attitudes change. There is some evidence that Obama enjoys a lot of goodwill among younger Cubans in the US.

Oh, the young. Always hopeful.

In Cuba Yoani Sanchez seems to think that it will be hard for the Cuban state to portray the new President as the enemy. Read her blog. The ice can melt on both sides.

So is Obama going to follow through on his pledge to engage Cuba? London’s Telegraph is reporting that an adviser to the President-Elect has said Obama will ‘move very quickly’ to relax travel restrictions for Cuban families in the US once he takes office. Will he then persuade Floridians that engagement is the right choice? That the Embargo (or The Blockade, as the Cubans call it) has not worked, and that US foreign policy cannot forever be a slave to irrational Cold War grudges? We'll see.
technorati Stumble reddit digg! share on facebook


Post a Comment