With one stroke of the pen President Barack Obama has ended the stalemate; The United States has had with Cuba for 5 decades. Many will comment that it is time for a change, that the embargo did not work and that we must work at affecting/effecting change on the ground through our engagement with the Cuban people and government. Regardless of how you feel about the embargo and this opening towards Cuba the facts are not what they seem sometimes. The embargo has not worked (i.e. the Castro’s are still there) because there was never a true embargo. Goods have come to Cuba from everywhere for years; however we had the moral high ground for refusing to do business with Cuba.
This change has nothing to do with either one of the Castro brothers, because of their age and limited time. It does have a lot to do with the future of the island and of the people, because we have just given away the one trump card we could have used to really shake that tree. The vast majority of Cuban assets are already in the hands of various state owned entities controlled by the next generation of heirs.
Not commonly known by people in the U.S. is that although neither Castro brother has died; “the last will and testament” has already been read and the inheritance has been distributed. The country’s wealth and power is already in the hands of the sons of the Castro’s and the sons of several of the generals and ministers. There is nothing left for anyone else, and with this political recognition by the United States we can now say “They Won”.
The struggle of so many was in vein, Cuba has just been sentenced to another 50 years of modern style dictatorship. The island will now have the type of government that has total control on major economic matters and disperses trivial or symbolic rights and benefits to the people; something once known as an Oligarchy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy. The military presence will gradually fade away from public view and the bearded men with the green fatigues will all get a state funeral. The others will get a good shave and put on a suit, many of them already have. The marketing of Cuba will change, but the reality for most people will not change, and when it does change it will not be because of what was done today.
A very personal note, I gave up on the idea that I could ever go back and live in the country of my birth. Many factors come into play on that reality; however I have always hoped that my birthplace would become a place of free men and women, a place where democracy and the rule of law are respected. To have The President of my adopted country sign the future of the island away just like that hurts; it really hurts. If Cuba will truly ever be free it will not happen in my lifetime. I will share the same fate of my parents and grand-parents ; not seeing the island again.