Fostering Hope vs. More Of The Same

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Ric Herrero

#CubaNow

Aug 13, 2014

Dear Friends,

The Obama Administration drew attention earlier this summer when senior officials reportedly described his foreign policy doctrine to reporters with four simple words: “don’t do stupid s**t.” The last couple of weeks have really highlighted why that approach has particular relevance to U.S.-Cuba policy.

Plenty of good things continue to happen, though, so let’s start there. The cover of the Miami Herald’s business section on Sunday led with an above-the-fold headline that read, “Cuba: Women Entrepreneurs Cite Success.” The article profiled a group of women visiting Miami from Havana who are examples of the growing class of independent entrepreneurs that are reshaping Cuba’s socio-economic landscape through their hard work and personal investments.

“Each used her own capital to launch her business. All are making good profits and hope to expand to new or better locales and new product lines,” the Herald reported. The article acknowledged that they and other would-be entrepreneurs continue to face challenges such as access to equipment, supplies and business training – exactly the sorts of things that the American private sector could help provide in droves. Their visit and the coverage it received are a portrait of the new realities taking hold between our two shores and illustrate why it’s in our country’s best interest to help these micro-entrepreneurs succeed by allowing them greater access to American goods and services.

The entrepreneurs’ visit to Miami also stands in stark contrast to the news of yet another sloppy and ineffective scheme produced by the regime change mandate of the Helms-Burton Act, which continues to tarnish and discredit USAID’s long-standing humanitarian record throughout the world. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran an editorial on Sunday that blasted the scheme for masquerading as an HIV prevention program, noting that “it tarnished the reputation of this country as a leader in humanitarian aid…jeopardized the safety of medical volunteers and undermined the credibility of health initiatives worldwide.” The Post-Gazette’s conclusion? “No coup d’etat is worth that price.”

I also wrote about that in a column for the Huffington Post. You’ll find the links to that and more from the past couple of weeks below, including the latest on Alan Gross. We continue to make progress, but we need to keep reminding the Obama Administration that it has the room, authority, and responsibility to take further action on U.S.-Cuba policy. Even Hillary Clinton continues to make the case for change, as you’ll see below in excerpts from an interview she gave to ABC/Fusion.

Thanks for keeping up the momentum.

With appreciation,

Ric

(Tomado de Cuba Now)

 

 

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