Time is ripe for new friendship in Cuba
We went down the wrong path after the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Influenced by refugees here who wanted their country back, we cut all bonds with the communist nation.
There is no better way to influence the course of a nation than to trade with it. This allows people from our country and theirís to commute back and forth and learn our differences and make changes where needed.
We followed that path with China which at one time was just as communist and anti-U. S. as Cuba. But we sent G. W. Bush there when he was vice president and President Richard Nixon went there in person to restore the bonds of friendship in spite of our differences. As a result, China has changed its aggressive attitudes and become a welcome member of the world community, even though it is not yet a democracy.
Perhaps we can do the same with Cuba now that Raul Castro has taken over and another leader may be in the future. When Fidel took over, he was influenced by the Soviet empire to spread the gospel of aggressive communism that aimed to take over the new world. This cut them off from any accommodation by us to their new form of government. They were supported financially by the Soviets until the Berlin Wall fell.
At that point we had the chance to make amends but it became a political issue and the refugees won. As a result, we have very little trade with them which would lead to our friendship and influence. We have also made it difficult for the free people of this country to go there.
Renewing the bonds with our neighbor to the southeast could do more to stop the spread of communism in the new world than any further isolationist measures we pursue.
Participation in the productivity of the capitalist world would make them a friend that is more likely to adopt democratic ideals.
President George Bush should follow the lead of his father who helped pave the way for friendship in China. It could do the same in Cuba.
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