Friday, June 26, 2009

Gen. Barry McCaffrey Calls for a New Approach on Cuba

This might be the best thing I've yet seen from McCaffrey on any issue. Key points:

It's time for a realistic policy shift on Cuba. In my judgment, Congress and the administration should move to:

• Remove Cuba from the State Department list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. The poverty of ideas and resources forced the Cuban government to end its ineffective support of revolutionary movements long ago.

• Repeal enforcement of the ''Helms-Burton'' legislation. Both Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton signed provisions allowing for waivers of the outmoded law's provision.

• End the economic embargo on Cuba. Market forces should determine the level of trade between our nations.

• End U.S. restrictions on travel by American citizens to Cuba. There are no similar restrictions to other nondemocratic nations, including North Korea.

• Close the detention facility at Guantanamo and return the base to Cuban sovereignty. The place has become an international embarrassment to us.

• End the ''Wet Foot/Dry Foot immigration policy'' and treat illegal immigrants from Cuba as we do those from Mexico or any other country.

• Formalize coordination on anti-drug trafficking matters with Cuba's law enforcement and security forces.

• Provide significantly increased funds to the U.S. Agency for International Development so that we can support economic development as democratic political transition inevitably occurs in Cuba.

• End U.S. opposition to Cuban participation in the Western Hemisphere multilateral fora (lifting Cuba's suspension from the OAS was a good start) because diplomacy and engagement, not shunning, will open Cuba to liberal political ideals.

There's a lot more, check out the whole thing.

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