Sending Mail To Cuba Again
- Submitted by: admin
- Politics and Government
- 09 / 07 / 2009
One evidence of this change is that Washington and Havana will begin talks later this month on resuming direct mail service, cut off in 1963, between the two countries. Mail is now routed through Canada, Mexico or another third country, and a delivery that should take only a few days often takes weeks.
Presidents Bush and Clinton offered to talk about direct mail, but the Cubans balked. Ostensibly, they feared that radical exiles might start mailing bombs to the island, but another explanation might be that they feared a flow of books, magazines and newspapers beyond their ability to censor.
In any negotiations, the United States should firmly decline to do the Cubans’ censoring for them, as the Chinese have tried to do with Internet providers.
The United States and Cuba have also resumed what used to be regular meetings on immigration issues. The Bush administration suspended those talks in 2003.
The Obama administration has made several small, measured gestures of good will. President Obama ended Bush-era restrictions on how often Cuban Americans can visit the island and he has promised to end restrictions on cash remittance to Cuba. The United States also did not oppose readmitting Cuba to the Organization of American States, from which it was suspended in 1962.
There are other steps that could be taken. One is ending restrictions on travel to Cuba by all Americans. And the embargo could be eased to allow for trade that is in our self-interest.
But the Obama position on the embargo is ultimately what has been the U.S. position for nearly a half century: It will be lifted when the Cubans free their political prisoners, un-muzzle the press, allow for opposition parties and hold free elections.
Source: San Angelo.com