Tuesday, October 11, 2016

U.S. citizen writes to the Washington Post: Lift the Cuba trade embargo

Having recently returned from a two-week volunteer humanitarian trip to Cuba, I was angered to read Josh Rogin’s Oct. 3 op-ed, “Security risk in the Cuba opening” regarding the supposed danger posed by allowing direct flights to the United States from 10 Cuban airports. In particular, I resented his quoting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that “Cuba remains a state sponsor of terrorism” even though the Obama administration rescinded that designation in May 2015. Mr. Rogin insinuated that Cuba had insufficient airport security (although two Transportation Security Administration officials have reported that “all 10 airports meet the minimum standards for security under U.S. and international law”). He suggested Cuba remains a haven for bad actors with ill intent toward the United States, although there is no evidence of this.

It should be obvious to all in the United States, including Congress, that the 55-year embargo was a failed attempt to change Cuba’s political system and should be lifted as soon as possible. The people of Cuba would benefit greatly from open trade with the United States. Those who oppose such efforts are rooted in the thinking that led to the freezing of relations after the Cuban revolution and the tension that existed for at least a decade thereafter. Op-eds such as this one only fuel continuing distrust of the Cuban people and their government.

Linda Roberts, Gaithersburg

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