I see a lot of people sperging out about President Obama’s visit to Cuba today, so I figured why not come here and add my two cents in. It won’t take long, since my position is quite simple:

We should have done this a long time ago.

Acting like the embargo (which is still in place and can only be lifted by Congress) has been anything but a burden on the Cuban people and American businesses is foolish in the extreme. I’m sure I could go find 20 articles right now arguing that it has been some kind of amazing success, but there are always dozens of arguments about why wrongheaded policies should be continued. Hell, think of all the trash that was put out in favor of toppling Saddam Hussein.

We could have made deeper inroads into the Cuban psyche decades ago if we had just treated them like any other nation. Still, I could understand the embargo and fractured relations policy back in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. I still don’t think it was the way to go even then, but the arguments made in it’s favor at the time hold more weight with me. Now? It’s just an outdated mode of operation that needs to go by the wayside.

Think of all the dictatorial regimes that we call our allies. Saudi Arabia comes to mind, but they are by no means the only one. I’m someone who tends to subscribe to realpolitik, so I’m not even preaching against such alliances if they are deemed to benefit our national interest. But when I see people talk about human rights abuses in Cuba, using those to support continuing trade restrictions and travel bans, I can’t help but notice the hypocrisy. At least be consistent. If you want to call Cuba an enemy and use that as a justification, go right ahead. However, when you cite the jailing of dissidents and things of that nature to back your assertion that we should continue to shut them out, you just seem disingenuous at best.

I welcome any of you to point out why you think I’m wrong here. In fact, I really do hope commenters put forth some well-reasoned arguments against my position. Because as of now, I haven’t read anything that has swayed me against what I’ve just said. It’s not about Obama, for me. I’ve always supported what he’s doing. I would be saying the same thing if it was President George W. Bush who undertook the effort. I would even give Cruz props if he was the one going this route. It’s my firm belief that opening up Cuban society to full trade and normalized relations with the United States will actually benefit our interests in the long run, in many more ways than one. It may even lead to democracy on the island sooner rather than later. Then again, it might not. Either way, I think this is the best course of action for both countries.

Plus, I’ll finally get to smoke some Cuban cigars.