(…after fifty years of shadowed life…)

Sometimes Presidents can, and do, make bold policy moves, especially when there’s no risk of losing political capital for re-election needs. In this instance President Obama has done just that kind of move. A move he can afford to make since now he’s no longer up for re-election.

Frankly, it’s about time our political leadership displayed the kind of guts it takes to make such a decision, to end what should have ended long ago. It might have saved both the American and the Cuban people a lot of grief. As for those voices which are railing against it, claiming it is wrong because it only strengthens the Castro regime’s dictatorial hold on power…they are forgetting…or ignoring…the fact that a former Republican President… named Nixon…did exactly the same thing…ending thirty years of America’s pretending that another Communist dictatorship called – China – didn’t exist…and we know how that has turned out.

Thus, in the context of that history, vehement outcries against President Obama’s policy shift towards Cuba are illogical…and unproductive. They also ignore the reality that both the Castro brothers are octogenarians and that neither is likely to be around for much longer, particularly in the political arena, as leadership passes to a younger generation. To that let us not forget that once the floodgates are opened to relatively free economic activity, the political dynamics of any society begins to change. We’ve seen it with China. We saw it with Soviet Russia, and other erstwhile totalitarian regimes, all, transformed from outright dictatorships into free-wheeling oligarchies.

Granted, to what extent that’s an improvement for the mass of their citizens is open to debate, but, so far, the pattern suggests it is, and outright political repression inevitably diminishes if not fades away because of it; which just goes to show that accruing material wealth always seems to trump ideology in the end, even if the process is slower with some… than with others.

Meanwhile, for Cuba, it’s a case of tiptoeing back into the sunlight…after fifty years of a shadowed life…and one can only hope that over time it will gain greater freedoms because of that.