Today marks the 48th anniversary of the invasion of Cuba by anti-Castro forces. Nearly 1,500 Cuban exiles, trained by the CIA landed at the Bay of Pigs and proceeded in an attempt to oust then Premier Fidel Castro. As history tells us, the attempt failed, but some suspect that the failure wasn’t because of lack of training or equipment. Instead we learn that quite possibly the reason for the failure was due to lack of support from the world, particularly in Latin America.
Our President interestingly enough, has proposed loosening some of the requirements of travel and trade embargos with Cuba. Cuban-Americans would be allowed less restrictive travel and many businesses, particularly cell phone providers, would be allowed to expand into Cuba. One might consider that given the history of relations between a Castro led Cuba and the US, this is an appeasement to the demands of the dictator over the last 48 years.
I’d like to offer a different perspective. In our lifetime, it has been vogue to hate the Soviet Union, China, Cuba and all other cultures of communism; however, this new move to put private business into operation in Cuba has some merit. The true defeat of communism comes at the inception of private business in historically communist regimes. When people realize that income can be generated for themselves based upon their hard work and dedication, as opposed to being doled out as rations by a government controlled enterprise, business will flourish and as a result, people will have a better and more productive life. Interestingly enough, the exact opposite holds true as well, as soon as people realize they can vote themselves remuneration from the public treasury, a democracy will fail, but then communism is a far cry from democracy.
The American Dream didn’t come about in a day, and quite honestly, America doesn’t have a monopoly on it. The American Dream is the dream of every man, woman and child around the world, to have a better more meaningful life. By allowing US private business into Cuba, this brings about an important first step in bringing the American Dream to a generation of Cubans that knows little of America other than its geographic presence on a globe.
To attempt to improve the lives of Cubans, in the wake of the 48th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, would serve to improve relations with the Cuban people and open new markets for American goods and services. However, that isn’t the most important aspect of this move. We must think about the humanitarian aspect of reuniting families torn apart by an ideology for which they had little input in creating. We must think about the lost generations of people whose lives were claimed in failed attempts to leave the oppressive island nation and we must think about the future good that is possible in a free Cuban society. The reasons to hate Cuba and Castro are quickly fading into history; Castro’s life will soon come to an end and his brother appears to be ineffective dictator material, so perhaps it is time the olive branch is extended to the broken families on both sides of the border.
This will have a positive outcome, and hearts and minds can be changed, if we have the support of the world, particularly the American people, besides, if normal US-Cuban relations are reopened think of the cigars, we mustn’t forget the cigars.