United States Cuba Policy & Business Blog

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Dissident Issue in Cuba

Two articles from September 30 suggest the Administration is evaluating its approach to the issue of dissidents in Cuba.
In a serious process towards improving and normalizing relations, we must consider how the U.S. can be a more positive influence to Cuba.
We may not like nor agree with the Cuban system of government. However, we need to consider the impact of the status quo and the cost of our current policies in this area, ie.
Radio TV Marti and other programs which funnel taxpayer money to Cuban dissidents. How has this been working out for the last two decades? Has this changed anything? Time for a reality check.
The issue of foreign government financial support for Cuban dissidents has caused those Cubans who receive U.S. government monies for political purposes in Cuba to be harassed, arrested, and jailed. Many still remain in prison. We should be negotiating for their release.
In the end, there should be a comprehensive resolution of these sensitive human issues between both countries wherein political prisoners are freed in Cuba, the Cuban Five held in the U.S. are pardoned and returned to Cuba, and U.S. fugitives in Cuba are extradited to the U.S. A serious discussion on this should take place. Effective diplomacy requires 360 degree analysis and reflection.
To make that happen, both nations need to keep talking with each other while treating one another with mutual respect, and taking positive steps forward on each side to improve conditions for resolution of this conflict. - TM