As a member of the Economic Committee, I urge the President to reconsider America’s trade relations with Cuba and start a new era of economic co-operation and trust. There are good reasons why such reconsideration is warranted. Much has changed since the Cuban revolution that occurred in the middle of last century. At that time, global politics was seeing rapid changes and the world was divided into two counteracting poles. While it was unfortunate that Cuba choose to align with the Soviet Union, the fall of Berlin wall twenty years ago has created new opportunities for reconciliation with the country. Today, Cuba does not pose a threat, as it once did as an ally of the Soviet Union. (The New York Times, 2003)
Indeed, a brief look at the period of embargo reveals the economic losses incurred by businesses in our country. Being one of the more resourceful countries in Central America, Cuba presents great opportunities for business corporations headquartered here. Amicable trade relations will also open up Cuban markets for our investors. It will also expand the consumer base and reach for our products and brands. Now that Fidel Castro is no longer the official leader of Cuba, and his successor Raul Castro giving out positive messages to our leadership, the time is ripe for moving past the Cold-war stance toward Cuba (Franks, 2008). And since our President himself stands for words like ‘hope’ and ‘change’, he has the democratic mandate to renew trade relations with our southern neighbor.
The lifting of the embargo will lead to job-creation for the people of Cuba and will benefit the Gross Domestic Products of both the countries. At a time when the United States is facing a threat to its position as the leading economic power (from regions such as Asia and Europe), it is essential to consolidate its leadership position in the Americas. The blatant antagonism expressed by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and Brazilian premier Lula has already undermined our economic advantage. And in this context, friendly relations with Cuba will help compensate those diplomatic failures.
Finally, the President should take his cue from the messages conveyed by our business community. A business coalition such as USA-Engage has already indicated that the economies of both countries are set to benefit when the embargo is lifted. (Cummings, 2008) And the softened stance of Cuba’s new leader Raul Castro is another compelling reason for pushing forward with diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba.
Jennifer Cummings or Eric Thomas, Business Community Calls for New Cuba Policy, 12/4/2008, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, 202-822-9491
Jeff Franks, June 3, 2008, Cuba leader Raul Castro turns 77 amid rising hopes, boston.com
Embargo on Cuba, Letters to the Editor, The New York Times, January 19, 2003 Sunday