Return of Havana nights

To begin progress with Cuba, Obama is smart to start off tip-toeing instead of sprinting.To begin progress with Cuba, Obama is smart to start off tip-toeing instead of sprinting.

President Barack Obama loosened travel restrictions with Cuba on Tuesday, allowing American citizens with relatives in Cuba to visit and send money freely to the island nation. The policy shift, which Fidel Castro called âÄúpositive, although minimal,âÄù is a small step toward establishing more favorable diplomacy with Cuba. Although the embargo itself has yet to be lifted, its debilitating effects are mitigated by ObamaâÄôs measure, which, albeit seemingly slow-and-steady, puts policy with Cuba on the right track. Restricting Cuban-Americans the liberties to visit their families and assist them financially at their will was an outdated practice that should have expired along with the Cold War. But in this time of worldwide financial and diplomatic unrest, taking baby steps is a more viable route than making large, unexpected changes, because it establishes a sense of progress in a gradual, doable way. The new policy will stimulate the Cuban economy and give Cuba, which is decidedly no longer nearly the threat it once was when the embargo was implemented, more resources and support to further its new governmental reforms. Under President Raúl Castro, positive changes have taken place in Cuba, like the assistance given to private agriculturists and a salary restructuring to benefit harder-working employees in government jobs. These small steps, in conjunction with ObamaâÄôs, are building a hopeful future for Cuba. The United StatesâÄô work in establishing a friendlier relationship with Cuba, as well as changing policy to allow travel and transactions to take place there, is a necessary diplomatic gesture to initiate a larger change in the future. Now, policies need to be modernized and reevaluated, expired grudges need to be shirked and unnecessary enmities be mitigated. This editorial, accessed via UWire, was originally published in The Daily Free Press at Boston University. Please send comments to [email protected]