I realize that Obama must be careful not to alienate the former Cubans living in Florida, but it is pretty obvious that this is the only reason that we have not opened doors that could be moving Cuba back towards democracy.

Perhaps there are some small moves that can be made, e.g. letting relatives visit freely? Possibly the Haitian situation which makes Cuban doctors valuable will help a bit? We could let Cuban scholars participate in our academic conferences, etc.

For all its lack of democracy Cuba has at least provided universal literacy and medical care for its people. And with a global economy developing we are likely to discover new neighbors moving in next door — China, Russia — where we could have made some investments ourselves.

I know that Obama has enough to handle now without stimulating opposition. But Cuba is something the rest of us can speak to. I gather the younger Cubans living in Florida are leaning towards more openness as well — why not allow some of them to get medical training there? Latin America needs doctors.

What do you think?

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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