Is it time to unplug the American embargo against Cuba? The prospect seems to tempt more people than ever. It ought to be resisted.
The New York Times reported last week that the Obama administration intends to expand opportunities for Americans to visit Cuba, loosening the rules under which academic, religious, and cultural groups can travel there. The new regulations are seen as a signal of presidential support for legislation sponsored by US Representative Collin Peterson that would repeal the travel limitations altogether.
The chorus calling for an end to the travel strictures and an increase in trade with Cuba is considerable. Peterson notes that his bill is backed by a coalition of over 140 organizations, “including Human Rights Watch, the US Chamber of Commerce, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the American Farm Bureau Federation.’’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has “always been a supporter of lifting the travel ban.’’ The Brookings Institute recommends “vastly’’ expanding US-Cuba travel and other “people-to-people contacts,’’ calling them “a strategic tool to advance US policy objectives.’’
Read: “Lift embargo on Cuba? Not so fast,’’ an article by Boston.com