So Obama is going to start lifting some of our restrictions and embargoes against Cuba. Probably about time. William Rusher used to argue that we should at least lift the embargo on Cuban cigars on the view that if we can’t bomb their cities we should at least be able to burn their crops. To which I added, if imports of western blue jeans helped bring down the Soviet Union, think of what Spandex could do to Castro.
More seriously, though, every time in the past when the U.S. started trying to thaw relations, Fidel would provoke some deliberate outrage to stop it cold in its tracks, whether instigating the Mariel boatlift in 1980, or shooting down light planes in international waters under Clinton. The embargo suited his purposes for a long time, and may still serve the interests of the political class. Increased trade and exchange with the U.S. and the Cuban community in Florida has to give the rulers nightmares. Keep watch on this; we’ll see if Raoul Castro is cut from different cloth from his brother.