Saying the U.S. cannot afford “to keep putting Latin America on the back burner,” Sen. Marc Rubio (R-Fla.) wants us to “enhance trade and economic ties.” Regarding Cuba specifically, we should find “new ways to increase connectivity among
Cubans, and expand access to 21st century technologies on the island.”
Why then does Rubio oppose lifting the Cuba embargo, which forbids the shipment of information-technology products?
As we’ve seen in the Middle East, the Internet makes it harder for dictators to stay in power. And it is bad policy, economically and politically, to forbid U.S. investment in Cuba, just when Cubans are beginning to experiment with free enterprise.
The embargo is a “job killer” (a favorite expression of Rubio’s), as it compels the U.S. to forfeit
11 million potential consumers to the likes of China and Venezuela.
San Luis Obispo
Rubio certainly enhanced his credentials for national office in his convincing argument for more U.S. involvement in Latin America. For too long we have concentrated on international concerns in Europe, the Middle East and, now, Asia, ignoring the growing population and economic powerhouses in our backyard.
Even in Latin America we are not free of international politics, as countries on other continents have made substantial gains in this region. From an Iran that sponsors terrorism and has footholds in a number of Latin American countries, including Venezuela and Cuba, to a China that has extended its economic power to the area, we have been lax in maintaining our relations with democratic nations in the region.
Though not arguing for a return to the Monroe Doctrine and its exclusivity for the United States, we should make our presence felt positively with our neighbors.
Silver Spring, Md.