U.S. should rethink Cuban foreign policy

When EliÖn GonzÖles’s fate is the greatest concern of relations between the United States and Cuba, it is clear the Cold War has ended. While travel restrictions continue to be lessened and our government engages other Communist nations, the Senate rejected a proposal last week to set up a commission that would re-evaluate Cuba’s military threat. Their vote against the proposal is inconsistent with other foreign-policy decisions and should be reversed.
When the House struggled toward the vote to normalize trade with China, everyone knew the Senate was ready to agree to permanent trade relations. Their rationale was that engaging China is the only way to effect change. The Senate is saying it is reasonable to have normalized relations with a nation that jails dissidents, threatens nations like Taiwan and attempts to influence U.S. elections. Meanwhile, senators cannot even re-examine the United States’ status with a tiny island 90 miles away that controls no weapons of mass destruction, has created a solid health care system and is led by a man who has outlived several American presidents.
For Cuba to enact change, it will require the same influences that many members of Congress believe will work on China. As the rest of the world looks at America’s embargo with amusement, we should realize that Cuba is not home to the same cold warriors of the past. Cuba’s status in U.S. foreign policy should be closely examined and a more reasonable policy enacted.