Miami Herald: Obama's message
to the people of Cuba
Men sit next to a poster of U.S. President Barack Obama
and Cuban President Raul Castro
President Obama must deliver three messages directly to the Cuban people during his ground-breaking trip to Havana this week: (1) The United States and its people are not the enemy. (2) Cubans must have a direct say in their own future through free and fair elections. (3) Normalization is a two-way street.
U.S. is not the enemy
For decades, ordinary Cubans have been bombarded with propaganda about U.S. hostility. It's hard to trust average Americans when the Cuban government emits a daily barrage of messages designed to instill public fear of U.S. intentions.
The notion is patently false. But in Cuba's cocoon of isolation and a government monopoly of the means of communication, suspicion lingers.
The best way for Mr. Obama to erase the notion of America as the enemy is to reject the idea, inspired by malicious government propaganda, that exiles can't wait to pounce on Cuban properties when the time comes to settle claims for expropriation.
Compensation for valid claims is a government-to-government process. It will not affect the lives and well-being of Cuba's people, or their right to keep the homes where they live and other property they may claim.
The Cuban-exile community represents a uniquely American success story that the president should highlight. In an environment where their ingenuity has been allowed to thrive, Cuban-Americans have excelled. They want to use their skills to help Cubans on the island secure a better future for themselves. Normalization will not come at the expense of the Cuban people.
Let Cuba's people decide
Mr. Obama's speech to the people of Cuba is a pivotal moment. He is the perfect messenger, and his visit to Cuba is the perfect time and place, to proclaim the universal appeal of American values.
The core tenet of Americans is that all people deserve the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are inalienable rights, and they belong to Cubans, as well as to Americans and people everywhere.
Proclaiming American values should be part of Mr. Obama's message. He comes from a place where the opposition enjoys freedom of speech. Cuban dissidents should also have a right to speak and act freely without fear of arrests and beatings.
Political rights, he should say, are best secured by the democratic process, by the free election of leaders at every level of government. Cubans are ready to embrace freedom. If the Castro government considers it a seditious idea, it's only because it deems freedom itself seditious, but that should not keep an American president from speaking directly to the Cuban people on this issue.
Where's the reciprocity?
A key part of President Obama's plan to improve relations with Cuba is a relaxation of economic sanctions to foster improved commercial ties. U.S. travel, currency and investment restrictions have been eased or lifted altogether. The Castro government has done nothing in the way of reciprocity.
How about letting foreign companies hire workers directly? Or making state regulations more transparent? Or relaxing rules on the tiny private sector?
Normalization is a two-way street. Mr. Obama must tell the Cuban people directly that he wants to move faster. Their own government is holding back, and holding back the Cuban people in the process.
Miami Herald, Founded in 1903, it is the largest newspaper in South Florida. It also circulates throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Petroleumworld does not necessarily share these views.
Editor's Note: This commentary was originally published by Miami Herald, on March 19, 2016. Petroleumworld reprint this article in the interest of our readers.
Editor's Note: All comments posted and published on Petroleumworld, do not reflect either for or against the opinion expressed in the comment as an endorsement of Petroleumworld. All comments expressed are private comments and do not necessary reflect the view of this website. All comments are posted and published without liability to Petroleumworld.
Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of environmental and humanitarian significance. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
All works published by Petroleumworld are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.Petroleumworld has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Petroleumworld endorsed or sponsored by theoriginator.
Petroleumworld encourages persons to reproduce, reprint, or broadcast Petroleumworld articles provided that any such reproduction identify the original source, http://www.petroleumworld.com or else and it is done within the fair use as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Internet web links to http://www.petroleumworld.com are appreciated
Copyright© 1999-2009 Petroleumworld or respective author or news agency. All rights reserved.
We welcome the use of Petroleumworld™ stories by anyone provided it mentions Petroleumworld.com as the source. Other stories you have to get authorization by its authors.Internet web links to http://www.petroleumworld.com are appreciated
Petroleumworld welcomes your feedback and comments,
share your thoughts on this article, your feed. back is important to us!
Petroleumworld News 03/21/2016
We invite all our readers to share with us
their views and comments about this article.
Follow us in : twitter / Facebook
Send this story to a friend
Write to email@example.com
By using this link, you agree to allow PW
to publish your comments on our letters page.
Any question or suggestions,
please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Best Viewed with IE 5.01+ Windows NT 4.0, '95,
'98,ME,XP, Vista, Windows 7,8 +/ 800x600 pixels