US Opinion and Commentary

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Don’t Give Fidel Castro the Last Laugh

Posted November 30th, 2016 at 1:13 pm (UTC-4)
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It’s one thing to be respectful of the Cuban people — and I’m not suggesting we celebrate anyone’s death. But it is another to sidestep the historical horrors of a murderous, 60-year military regime and strike a pose of diplomatic equanimity that assuages only gluttons of insincerity.

Castro’s Legacy

Posted November 28th, 2016 at 4:33 pm (UTC-4)
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Fidel Castro’s death at age 90 Friday was a moment for millions of Cuban Americans to both celebrate and mourn. Celebrate because the brutal dictator they and their families fled from had finally died; mourn family members who could not wait out Castro’s life in hopes of returning to their homeland.

Whether it was cozying up to the Soviet Union, backing Angolan leftists or exporting his revolution to Venezuela and other Latin American countries, Castro influenced United States policy for more than 60 years. The economic embargo imposed by President John Kennedy in 1962 is still in place today. Cuban migrants get preferential treatment if they make it to the United States.

President Barack Obama visited Cuba earlier this year, marking the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries. President-elect Donald Trump warns that could be reversed if Cuba doesn’t make progress on human rights and release political prisoners and fugitives from U.S. law.

Although Castro transferred power to his brother Raúl in 2006, Fidel was still a larger-than-life influence. Now that his life is over, how will generations of Cubans who knew no other leader go forward?

Cuba Shows Fallacy of Sanctions, Regime Change

Posted November 28th, 2016 at 10:47 am (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin Friday’s death of the world’s last revolutionary icon, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, offers important foreign policy lessons to the incoming administration of Donald Trump. For nearly 60 years, U.S. administrations struggled to overturn, contain or convert the bearded strongman and export a more democratic, capitalist form of government to the island nation of […]

Cuba: Beyond Béisbol, Beyond Castro

Posted March 22nd, 2016 at 4:22 pm (UTC-4)
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As ping-pong diplomacy helped pave the way for a relationship with communist China, baseball may help ease the rapprochement between the United States and Cuba. The final score won’t matter in an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban National Team.

What will matter is the symbolism of the United States and Cuba sharing their national pastimes with a Cuban defector playing for the American team—and other Cuban-born major league players being cheered as returning heroes in Havana.

President Barack Obama said in Tuesday’s speech he came to Havana “to bury the last remnants of the Cold War.”

56 years of enmity cannot be erased in a two-and-a-half day presidential visit. Or a nine-inning baseball game. But it is a start.