NYT Calls for Cuba Policy Change

Detour.  Photo: Juan Suarez
Detour. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES —The New York Times, widely regarded the most influential US newspaper, asked President Barack Obama to reflect seriously on ending the half-century-plus embargo on Cuba calling it counterproductive to promote democratic change on the island, reported Cafe Fuerte.

In the strongest media challenge to the policy maintained by 11 US administrations in recent years, an editorial in the NYT calls for the full restoration of bilateral relations, removing Cuba from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism and the expansion of travel for Americans who want to visit the island.

The editorial appeared Saturday on the NYT’s online site and in today’s print edition in the Sunday Review section.

In addition, the editorial recommended supporting American companies interested in developing telecommunications in Cuba.

Lastly, the Times urged Obama to attend the Summit of the Americas in Panama in 2015 and take advantage of the presence of Cuba, for the first time in these forums to “trigger a historic achievement.”

5 thoughts on “NYT Calls for Cuba Policy Change

  • Contrary to the first paragraph above, the NYT editorial does it refer to the embargo as “counterproductive to promote democratic change on the island”.

    Moreover, the editorial does not advance a single argument as to why lifting the embargo would help promote democratic change. The editorial does mention the limited economic reforms, and the ongoing repression of political dissidents, but failed to point out that the Cuban government has specifically ruled out any political reforms.

    Exactly how does lifting the embargo increase pressure on Cuba to introduce democratic political reforms? Nobody has yet explained that argument rationally.

  • You’re splitting hairs John. I referred to the failed economic system in Cuba as “Castro-style communism”. If you choose to disguise your shame for supporting this moribund system by giving it a new label, that is your choice. As far as I am concerned, it is like trying to put lipstick on a pig. Whatever name you give it, the economy in Cuba sucks.

  • 50 years ago the NYT welomed Castro and suported him even as he quickly revealed his despotism, so this current request is no surprise. As for Obama he is already held in contempt by 60% of the nation so why not just go for it? Can he be even more unpopular? I suppose so. Of course if he does it, he can write off the Democratic party’s chance of winning anything in Florida for a long time.

  • In order to call an economy communist as you did it must be run from the bottom up and not from the top down as is the Cuban economy.
    Cuba is a state capitalist economy .It is no different from capitalism in its class structure from (totalitarian) U.S. private capitalism in that instead of a private person ruling from the top as in private sector capitalism , the state rules from the top in the Soviet-style economies all Communist Party controlled governments strictly follow. I am just presenting facts to counter the commonly-held fiction that Cuba is a socialist or communist state whenever I deem that clarification and correction necessary.
    You’re welcome

  • The NYT editorial is a mostly balanced analysis of the current totalitarian regime in Cuba. It fully acknowledges the lack of democracy in Cuba while recognizing the tepid recent economic and immigrations reforms. However the editorial fails to acknowledge that lifting the embargo is not solely up to the President. While the President can restore full diplomatic relations and lift travel bans, lifting the embargo must be enacted by Congress. The editorial also gives short shrift to the continued incarceration of Alan Gross as a necessary first step towards improving relations. The NYT also seems to forget that the Castros have more to lose under the status quo than does the US. While doing nothing with current US/Cuban relations may stall progress in Latin America for the US, maintaining the status quo may drive the final nail in the coffin of the failure of Castro-style communism.

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