On November 13th, for the 21st year in a row, the UN General Assembly shot down the United States’ economic sanctions against Cuba in flames. This year, the vote was 188 to 3, with only Israel and Palau voting with the United States. The Marshall Islands and Micronesia abstained.
The UN vote is not the only evidence of the United States’ total isolation on the issue of Cuba. We are the only country in the Western Hemisphere that does not have normal diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba. The only one. More than anything, our Cuba policy is an embarrassment. It avails us nothing. Certainly it does not force the Cubans to adopt policies or attitudes more to our liking. After all these years that should be evident. On the contrary, as it isolates us, our policy if anything strengthens Cuba’s determination to defy us. We could accomplish far more by easing tensions and beginning a dialogue.
The political winds have shifted. The Cuban-American vote in Florida was closer in the recent election than it has ever been, with either Romney or Obama winning the majority of the Cuban-American vote, depending on the poll you reference. Will the Obama administration respond to those new breezes in the next term? Let us hope so. If not, more years of embarrassment for no logical reason at all.