A Good Argument Against the Cuba Embargo

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From a USA Today editorial:

If U.S. leaders were to pause and reflect as Fidel Castro has, they, too, would recognize that times have changed. Cuba is no longer the security threat that it was during the Cold War; it's just another failed communist state. The biggest threat now is the potential for waves of economically desperate refugees.

The five-decade trade embargo that was supposed to turn Cubans against Castro is an utter failure. And China model or not, Cuba is doing some of the things that the United States has long asked it to do.

In this lies a potentially transformational opening. Rumors have floated for months that the Obama administration is preparing to relax travel rules and revive people-to-people programs. It should be bolder. It should offer a dramatic initiative that would clear the way to ending the embargo, opening Cuba to Americans and American business.

Fidel Castro isn't the only Cuban who realizes the system is failing. As he fades away, his enterprising countrymen will invent a new system all their own. The only question is whether Americans will be there to help -- or instead lock themselves out, blind to the tide of history.
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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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