The world wants Cuba to change but the Castro regime doesn't
We've seen this movie many times before. It starts with a country giving Cuba a line of credit or going around the US embargo. It is followed by high expectations that Cuba will change once Cubans in the island greet foreign tourists or Spaniards build hotels.
However, the movie always ends the same way: Cuba can't pay the loans and Cubans are still living in a repressive state.
We've seen that movie several times since the collapse of the Soviet Union in '92. Just ask all of the countries who've had to reschedule their loans to Cuba or just forgive old ones.
The Miami Herald has a great editorial about US and Cuba"
"Suddenly, there appears to be movement, or at least the start of a conversation, regarding policy toward Cuba on the part of the European Union and Americans interested in the welfare of the Cuban people.
This is a healthy development. No policy should be declared sacrosanct and off-limits for periodic review, particularly those framed during the height of the Cold War.
There's just one thing missing in this picture: The Cuban government.
The government's hard-line stance on human-rights issues represents an obstacle in the thawing of relations that cannot be ignored. Moreover, not only is there no sign that the Castro regime is interested in any sort of dialogue or negotiation over its despotic policies, but rather the opposite.
The latest evidence of the regime's perfidy puts the Castro government squarely in the middle of a global weapons-supply chain to North Korea, in violation of explicit U.N. sanctions.
And just days before pollsters in this country released findings indicating that majorities across the board, including people of Cuban descent, favored a thaw in relations between the two countries, police raided the home of prominent dissident Jorge Luis García Pérez, known as Antunez.
He was hauled away and detained for hours - and so was his wife, after demanding his freedom - before being released. Their home was vandalized and sacked.
This is standard operating procedure by the Castro security apparatus. Both at home and abroad, Cuba stands on the side of the oppressors, as it always has."
This is why I've supported the US embargo. I have not seen any evidence that lifting the embargo will bring democracy to Cuba or help the Cuban people. On the contrary, lifting the embargo will simply bail out the communist state and put more dollars in the Castro family accounts.
Our policy should be very clear and simple:
First, no talks at any level until Cuba releases Mr. Allan Gross unconditionally. Simply hand him over to the Red Cross so that he can be reunited with his family. No meeting or talks until that happens first;
Second, the world should demand a democratic transition in Cuba. No more "wishful thinking" about reforms that don't really reform or "expectations" of change that never comes.
This is the moment for the US to draw the line and say "enough" in Cuba.