Steve Clemons says the US thinks the embargo gives it leverage in Cuba, but in reality is does no such thing.
Wen I was in Havana, I met some Israelis involved with managing Cuban citrus groves. I saw a Benetton store in the new Havana. I saw Chinese selling major port infrastructure loading equipment to Cuba. British Petroleum was having a cocktail party on the roof of my hotel. Tourism is high. There is always a sense of leverage that the US thinks it has — but that leverage is now mostly fictional — as Cuba has found other thoroughfares for growth.
The only leverage America has on lifting or maintaining the embargo is with an aging, Castro-obsessed, reactionary population in Miami that thankfully is being taken over by a more rational contingent of Cuban-Americans who have either rethought their views or who just don’t carry the same views as their elders in their younger portfolios of experience.
End the embargo now.
Can you imagine what kind of creativity and mashups will occur when US hip hop gets together with Cuban musicians? Seriously! This being just a tiny example of what could happen once the embargo is lifted. Which may be what the younger Cuban-Americans in Miami are thinking too.