Is there anything that symbolizes the absurdity of US attitudes towards Cuba more than the fact that Ozzie Guillen, the manager of the Miami Marlins baseball team, was suspended by team owners for remarks he made about Fidel Castro? What did he say that was so outrageous? “I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but (he) is still there.” How horrifying! This is despite the fact that even pope Ratzo just had a friendly meeting with Castro and called for an end to the embargo. There goes the pope’s chance of ever being made manager for the Marlins.
US policy towards Cuba is nothing short of stupid and cruel, partly due to being held hostage by an aging group of reactionary Cuban exiles in Florida. For over 50 years, the US has maintained an embargo that has had the effect of creating immense hardship to the people of that island while denying Americans the right to travel there and to learn about that country. And of course, the shameful base Guantanamo is on the island too.
Cuban diplomats in Washington, DC and at the United Nations in New York cannot travel outside a 50-mile radius without first obtaining permission from the State Department, which is often denied. Just recently, two members of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington DC were denied permission to go to New York City to take part in a forum. What is the US afraid that they will do? Meanwhile US diplomats in countries that are not perceived as friendly expect to travel freely and speak with dissident groups in those countries.
Cuba does not pose even a semblance of a threat to the US. While it is not a democracy, it is nowhere close to the kinds of brutal murderous dictators that the US has supported in Central and South America over that same period.
The US does not seem to be able to tolerate the fact that despite all their efforts to overthrow and even kill him, Fidel Castro remained in power and outlasted the presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II. In retaliation the US is punishing the Cuban people by denying them the opportunity to trade with the world like any other nation.
The anti-Cuban sentiment in the US is absurd and the continuing embargo on that country needless and cruel and must come to an end.