President Barack Obama made a historic trip to Cuba recently and his visit was surrounded by celebration and adulation.
But it was not without criticism.
America has had an embargo on the island nation of Cuba for more than 50 years. The embargo was put in place by President Dwight Eisenhower and was a result of the brutal dictatorship that rose to power in Cuba. The government led by the Castro brothers has a long history of human rights violations to the point that Cubans have fled to America for generations.
It is a mistake for the president to go to Cuba and to predict a softening in the embargo and trade restrictions while nothing has really changed in Cuba itself. Free speech is still not allowed – you cannot criticize the government. You can be arrested for demonstrating and the Castro regime still has some very brutal policies towards it citizens.
So, it seems, Obama has given in to the hope that easing restrictions will somehow cause the Castro’s to change a 50-year-old government structure. It is not going to happen. In fact, what Obama is doing will, most likely, strengthen the resolve of the dictatorship as there are really no reasons for them to change now. Many Americans don’t remember the Cuban history of the 60s and 70s and beyond but everyone needs to look back and admit, not much has changed and relaxing our position towards Cuba does nothing but hurt the Cuban citizens.