The visit of the President of the US Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Thomas Donohue, to Cuba has revived the debate over the irrationality and injustice of the embargo policy imposed over Cuba for more than 52 years.
His presence here, for the second time in 15 years, indicates the reality of the growing number of high level US officials –at the decision and influential level– who express openly their disagreement about this policy.
This visit comes almost at the same time of a letter signed by 40 personalities from American politics –including important former officials at Democrat and Republican Administrations– who have also asked President Obama to lift the embargo.
This is not an easy task. There is a whole industry created behind –publicly based on hating the Cuban revolution– which provides of important funds to many people in the United States and beyond.
Precisely the US Chamber of Commerce informed a few months ago that the Administration wastes every year from its national budget –which is the tax payers’ money– between 1.2 and 3.6 billion USD just to verify that the embargo is implemented. It can give an idea of how many officials and bureaucrats in the United States can survive as a consequence of this policy.
This is together with the amount of people, basically in Miami and Washington DC –also New Jersey, perhaps in a lower level–, who receives incredible benefits in terms of money to keep their hate speech and action against Cuba through radio and TV stations, terrorist organizations and political positions. Ileana Ros, the Diaz-Balart brothers, Marco Rubio and also their employees in Havana –who are dressed up as political dissidence– can be requested about it.
In the other side of the political field, it is widening the obvious idea of the amount of important economic benefits for many American enterprises –including Cuban-Americans– after the embargo, the possibility of creating new jobs and the potential development of many economic associations in the US and Cuba as the result of investing and trading with the island.
This arm-wrestle game between two opposed positions has been revitalized lately. The embargo side has won for decades, now the support to the other side has bounced back. But we cannot claim to have been misled or create wrong ideas: we are talking basically about economic issues, it means, if one or the other position provides more benefits for US interests.
It is necessary to lift the embargo now. Without any doubt it will bring tremendous benefits for both sides, above all to Cuba and its economic foreign relations take-off. They have been too damaged for too long as a consequence of this policy. But it won’t mean a change to the political perspective from the American government, trying to control what’s going on in Cuba since the Monroe Doctrine and the Theory of Political Gravitation at the beginning of XIX century.
Even if we have full economic relations it won’t imply that the US government will give up to its hopes of a “change of regime” in Cuba. In fact, many of those who defend the change of policy are based on reaching the same goal with other methods. If somebody have any doubt of it, just observe the examples of Venezuela, Ecuador and many other countries in the world in which the US have huge economic interests together with heavily “change of regime” policies.
With these growing voices in the United States favoring the change of the Cuba policy we are getting into a different stage in the bilateral relations –once again, after some other failed attempts in the past. It will imply wisdom and political ability to address them through a road in which both economies receive benefits with an open eye over the intentions to overthrow the Cuban regime and to dominate the nation’s course.