Wednesday, August 02, 2006

WSJ: Repeal Helms-Burton Act

In the Review and Outlook editorial page of today's printed Wall Street Journal, the influential newspaper called for the repeal of the Helms-Buton Act of 1996.

Excerpts:

* Whether Fidel is sick, dead or merely testing the response of Cuba's military and political elite to the anointing of Raúl is not clear.

* Despite his brutal past, Raúl is now widely thought to be a reformer.

* Cuba watchers say that Raúl has been known to express concern about the suffering of the Cuban people under the current system and has been a consistent voice for economic change.

* Back in the 1990's Raúl pushed to allow at least some private economic activities, as well as more foreign investment, to alleviate the scarcities. A helpful step would be to repeal the 1996 Helms-Burton Act. It denies the President important discretion and reduces the possibility the U.S. could promote change through economic engagement with a post-Fidel Cuba.

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