First off, let me start by saying: Yes, I understand the reason behind the Cuban embargo. I have family that is Cuban, and lived there during the events that led up to the embargo. But I think it is time we moved on.
Cuba extended an olive branch, of sorts, this last week, offering to ship doctors, medics, and medical supplies to help out in the states affected by Katrina. Our response??? None… We have, at the time of this rant, ignored their offer, while accepting offers from several other countries, including France.
Listen… This should not be about politcs, this is about need. They offered to help, and in an area that really needs it. At this point most of those affected by Katrina do not care if the personal offering them a hand is Democrat, Republican, Liberal or even Communist. This was a genuinely gracious offer on the part of the Cuban goverment.
The U.S. has stated that we are basing who we accept side from based on the need. These doctors that are being offered to us are trained in disaster conditions, they were the doctors that Cuba sent after last years Tsunami that killed so many and destroyed so much. They do know what they are doing.
Seriously… after almost half a century embargo, what would it hurt to open trade and eliminate the embargo? I understand that Cuba and Fidel are one of the last holdouts of Communism in the world, but has 45 years of closing them out changed anything? Does rejecting their help do anything more than hurt the people in need after the devistation that Katrina wrought?
Lets look at it another way. I do not care how much you hate your neighbors, if your house burns down, and they offer to help, you are probably not going to refuse.
Tragedy brings people together, and, in many cases, erases the lines of race and religion. That is the way this should be, and I am VERY disapoint for the way this admisitration has handled this… they had a chance to have a golden moment that would help break down this invisible wall that exists between the US and Cuba, but they flushed it right down the toilet.