One way the US government could promote freedom in Cuba would be to stop restricting the free choices of Americans and Cubans regarding trade and travel. From Thomas Knapp at antiwar.com:
“We stand with the Cuban people,” US President Joe Biden says in an official White House statement, responding to protests across the Caribbean island country, “and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime.”
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel disagrees as to the nature of the protests. “All this discontent, these feelings of dissatisfaction, what is the ultimate cause of all that?” he asks. “It’s the blockade. This is part of the U.S. playbook to destabilize us, to generate chaos, to break our will and spirit.”
Diaz-Canel has a point.
There’s no actual “blockade,” but there is an embargo, now yearly 60 years long, under which most trade with Cuba is forbidden to American businesses (and foreign business which operate the US).
The supposed purpose of the embargo has been, simply put, to make life hard enough on the Cuban people that they rise up and overthrow the communist regime. So when Diaz-Canel blames the embargo for popular discomfort and dissatisfaction, a US claim that he’s wrong is essentially an admission that the embargo serves no worthwhile purpose whatsoever.
Which seems to be the case. Six decades of failure to achieve its purpose kind of speaks for itself, don’t you think?
If Biden really wants to “stand with the Cuban people,” there are two easy steps he can take to do so in an honest way.