"This President has taken a very dangerous course with regards to Cuba, saying we're going to relax relations, we're going to open up travel to Cuba. This is the wrong time for that…."
– Mitt Romney in the NBC Debate, 23 January, 2012
Since anything is liable to be said in an election year, and since this remark was tailored to the Florida Latino community, it remains to be seen how fervently Mr. Romney believes what he said, but a couple of questions:
– What's dangerous? Is Governor Romney concerned that Americans might adopt the Cuban revolution as a model for our politics? The Cuban economic model as ours? Maybe if we talk to the Castros they'll, what, invade? Or maybe if we just give our sixty year policy of economic sanctions and travel restrictions a little more time, it'll work?
– Why is this the wrong time to open up travel to Cuba? Would it have been better ten years ago? Will it be better ten years from now? (In fact, best I can tell, the current "people to people" program was instituted by President Clinton in March 1998, and later restricted by President Bush. The Cubans were even wary of the program at first.)
Governor Romney said it. I'm just asking.
You'd think denying American business access to the Cuban market would rile up the business wing of Mr. Romney's party. And then there's the matter of denying Americans their freedom to travel, for political reasons.
We're going to take advantage of the President's 'dangerous course' while it's available, with a trip to Cuba in March. Watch for reports here on CS&W.