Dropping Embargo Won’t Help Cuban People

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
A Letter to the Editor of Florida Today:

Dropping embargo won’t help Cuban people

A comment on the article, “Trip to Cuba is educational eye-opening

The tourist industry is made in a way that allows tourists to enjoy their vacation without ever leaving their isolated areas. As a result tourists often have no idea of the internal structure of society and conclude that Cubans are poor but generally happy.

When they ask the personnel of their hotel for good local places to eat or drink they are directed to state-owned venues and are driven in state-owned taxis. Through a series of physical restrictions imposed on Cubans, the government is able to maintain what is known as ‘tourism apartheid’.”

Opponents of U.S. policy toward Cuba continue to claim that, if the embargo and travel ban were lifted, the Cuban people would benefit economically, the communist system would start crumbling and transition to democracy would accelerate. Do they really believe that American tourists and businesses would succeed where Canadians, Latin Americans and Europeans have failed?

For decades, tourists from these countries have visited the island, and their investments and trade have been welcomed by the Castro regime. Yet the end result has been little prosperity and more repression for the Cuban people.

There is no evidence to support the notion that engagement with a totalitarian state will bring about its demise. Only academic ideologues and some members of Congress who cater to the economic needs of their state cling to this notion. Their calls for ending the embargo have little to do with democracy in Cuba or the welfare of the Cuban people.

The assumption that Fidel Castro and the Cuban leadership would allow U.S. tourists or businesses to subvert the revolution and influence internal developments is at best naive.

Fernando Dominicis