HAVANA TIMES, Dec. 25 – The US economic blockade of Cuba -a leftover from the Cold War against the Soviet Union- enters a sixth decade on Jan. 1, 2010. While there was some hope, especially on States side, as to a possible easing of the stranglehold under President Obama, the president’s first year in office proved the skeptics at home and in Havana right.
Last week a major US newspaper, the Seattle Times, called for an end to the blockade, but just like calls in the past it appears to have fallen on deaf ears in the White House.
The paper of the far northwest US city, considered a gateway to Asia, stated:
“We would allow Cuba to buy U.S. foodstuffs, and most other products, under normal commercial rules. We would allow Americans to visit Cuba without threatening them with fines under the Trading with the Enemy Act. We would repeal the Helms-Burton Act and allow Americans to invest in Cuba, and we would allow some Cuban investment here. We would allow the importation of Cuban sugar and other lawful products.
“We suggest this not because we support the system in Cuba, but because we support the rights of Americans to make their own decisions about it. For almost half a century, the United States has restricted the rights of Americans in order to bring down Castro and communism. The policy has done neither. It doesn’t seem to have done any good at all. Certainly it has harmed ordinary people in Cuba,” noted the Seattle Times.