Jul 16, 2021Liked by Brendan Ruberry

It's important to differentiate between people like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez who have expressed support for the protestors while continuing to blame the embargo more than it deserves (Noah Smith wrote well about this the other day) and outright defenders of the dictatorship like BLM and DSA.

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I think that's a good point.

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Thank you

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"it decided many decades ago that it was going to squeeze Cuba because the Cubans nationalized American businesses on the island."

The notion that US policy regarding Cuba since Castro took over has been driven primarily by resentment of his government's appropriation of assets of US citizens sixty or more years ago strikes this reader as highly implausible. Surely the fact that the Castro government was a key ally and client state of the USSR during the last three decades of the Cold War and actively supported Marxist insurrections elsewhere in Latin America had a lot more to do with it!

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Thank you James Bloodworth for your insightful article.

Just what can be helpful? Folks (very brave ones) out on the streets expressing their discontent is not going to frighten the Cuban Administration enough to just pack up and leave. This has been demonstrated recently in Russia and Belarus where like Cuba there is no political path for change and so it's unlikely to happen.

What comes to mind is that the U.S. now has an opportunity (whatever that may be). This needs seeing and acting upon before the balls fall to the ground. Foremost is finding ways to immediately make the lives of ordinary Cubans better. And this doesn't have to be total but enough to make a difference -- meaning regardless of also benefitting the regime. Remittences are incredibly valuable to individuals and families and even if the Cuban Government scoffs a big slice it matters -- but doesn't really. Much the same thing with lifting the embargo. Most important is to give figures -- like, if we do this each Cuban family gets what? and if they get something -- well, then let's do it.

As I say if we can focus on whatever helps people and families as opposed to punishing regime or worrying what floats into their pockets.

How equipped is our battered U.S. Foreign Service? at this place and time? This makes an enormous difference. So too a President who is not renown for imagination and understandably has his back to a Republican knife waiting his move -- and hopefully a wrong one.

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