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Ending Cuba Embargo Could Be Opportunity for GOP Outreach

How does the party reach out to certain groups and bring them into the tent so that it remains competitive?

by
Michael W. Edghill

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June 11, 2013 - 12:11 am
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From the moment that the election returns started to come in last November, the Republican Party has been engaged in a conversation on how it should rebrand itself or reinvent itself. How does the party reach out to certain groups and bring them into the tent so that they remain competitive in future elections nationwide?

While some in the party insist that the party does not need reform and simply needs to define the message more clearly, many in the party point to a need to reconsider some of the platform positions that Republicans have taken over the last few years. The most obvious among them was the immigration debate and the seemingly tone-deaf message Republican candidates proclaimed time and time again. Election returns indicated an alienation of Hispanic voters throughout the United States. Slowly but surely, it appears the Hispanic vote is moving even further away from the Republican Party. In fact, the only reliable vote amongst Hispanics for Republicans is that of Cuban exiles and Cuban-Americans.

It may, therefore, seem illogical to argue that the Republican Party needs to become vocal in calling for an end to the Cuban embargo. But forward-looking Republicans will see that this is a unique position in the current political climate where sound policy and political pragmatism are aligned.

As a relic of the Cold War, the Cuban embargo has proved an inefficient means of creating political change in Cuba. Internally, the embargo has been used as a tool by the Castros to blame the ills of the people on external forces, primarily the United States. For the American government, it has not yielded the changes in governmental structure or the end to human rights abuses that have been called for time and time again by a succession of presidents and congressional leaders.

Additionally, opposition to the embargo has only grown around the globe. Tourists and business interests from Europe and the rest of the Americas have sustained the Cuban economy. And let us not forget that the current conditions of the embargo still allow for American dollars to flow to Cuba through remittances, agricultural sales, and limited personal visitations.

Recent changes in the political leadership of the Communist government of Cuba lead to a safe assumption that dramatic changes to Cuban society are not coming in the near future. That being said, Cuban society will change in the future. The gradual liberation of the economy will inevitably lead to the gradual liberation of society in Cuba. If the embargo is maintained in perpetuity, then those who insist upon its continuation will also insist that the reason for Cuban freedom was its effectiveness. The flaw here is in declaring something that transpires due to its own circumstances a result of actions that have been proven to have no effect on it.

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Top Rated Comments   
If Republicans vote to end the Cuban embargo, they will offend the only group of hispanics who reliably vote Republican. Hispanics generally do not think of themselves as hispanics. They think of themselves as Mexican, Houduran, Brazilian, etc. Only Cuban hispanics care about US policy toward Cuba. If other hispanics care at all, they resent the special treatment Cubans receive when they enter the US.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Talking heads will never get it. Republicans do not need to reach out to identity groups. That is what Democrats do, endlessly. We cannot beat them at that game. What we need to do as a party is to return to conservative principles and happy-warrior outlook of the greatest Republican leader of our time: Ronald Reagan.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So we should cave to murderous thugs like the Castro brothers? The embargo is working, albeit a bit slowly. If American dollars flowed in to Cuba unabated by the embargo, we would be de-facto supporting a Communist state which has kept its people enslaved since the 50's. It would be validating their oppression. And I really object to the "well everybody else is doing it" rational. Just because Europe sees no problem with supporting a tyranical state doesn't mean we should. I am old enough to remember a few terrible days in the early 60's when we thought that nuclear attack was imminent. We now have testimony that Fidel Castro was trying to persuade the Russians to launch a preemptive strike from Cuba. Only the Russian's sense of self preservation prevented it. Thats not the kind of leader or state we should trust or be assisting in any way. And speaking of trust, you can no longer hold up Marco Rubio as an example of clear thinking and principle. His ideas about Cuba are based on his personal ethnicity and not on historic or geopolitical fact. They are about as reliable as his current cause du jour, emmigration reform.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
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Mr. Michael Edghill's 'reasoning' seems to run thus:

"The embargo hurts Cuba's economy. Therefore, it hurts Cubans. Therefore, Cubans must be against it. Cubans are Hispanic. Therefore, Hispanics are against it. Hispanics think we hate them. Therefore, if we are against something they hate, they will love us."

To call it simplistic is to do a disservice to the word. To call it sophomoric would be generous.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"People should work less for the government, and more for themselves" Calvin Coolidge

By the way sorry for the mistyping
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Does the writer feel he can simply insult the intelligence of the readers?

Lynn in Florida is correct.

And if I wanted to read wretched pabulum scolding me for allegedly failing to be sensitive enough to some ethnic group because then maybe they'd like me, which they would not -- well, I'd go read Salon.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If Republicans vote to end the Cuban embargo, they will offend the only group of hispanics who reliably vote Republican. Hispanics generally do not think of themselves as hispanics. They think of themselves as Mexican, Houduran, Brazilian, etc. Only Cuban hispanics care about US policy toward Cuba. If other hispanics care at all, they resent the special treatment Cubans receive when they enter the US.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The embargo should be lifted because it accomplishes nothing and wastes resources."

Demonstrably wrong.

A) No US company has lost any money or property to the Castro regime's notorious habit of not paying their debts since 1960. That's a rather huge accomplishment.
B) There are no resources wasted when none are engaged.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The only "outreach" will be Cuban Communist hands reaching out to grab Yankee dollars while they continue their leninist monster of a society. Their gov't and "progressives" here will demand grants, loans, "reparations" for not dealing with them in the first place, humanitarian aid, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Let other socialist countries help them. Our fascist government (read B. Mussolini, 1910-14 or better yet "Behemoth", Neumann, 1944) is busy ruining our society,
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have a better idea. Let's reverse the acts of Clinton and Obama, and put back the full embargo. And let's do the same for VietNam.

For years, I would not buy anything made in China. It eventually proved impossible, but I still won't buy from VietNam.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And that, if we are careful to work with the exiles to leave in some targeted exceptions, WILL get us some more votes. Not that we should do it for that reason.

The reason Bush beat Gore was Elian.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes indeed, you hit the nail on the head. The already heavily subsidized farm industry would especially benefit. Taxpayers would ultimately take a hit. "Lifting" has been pushed periodically by (frequently Republican) farm state politicians. Ironically, " "Trade" assumes that Cuba has something to give us in return.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Cuba DOES have something to trade: they can share their expertise in repression of people who don't like their regime. Perhaps they know some tricks that haven't occurred to Obama's administration.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The GOP is not competitive because it is spineless, it is Democrat light. We may as well vote for the Dems to get more goodies. The GOP brand is so totally corrupt that we should just ditch it and join the Dems to split the Democratic Party from within.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That would be ironic since the Democratic-Republican Party originally split to form the Democratic and Republican parties....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sorry, no, but this is a great example. It's the little things that matter. The Democrats, when in office, have been watering down the Cuban and Vietnamese embargoes, not to mention the Hatch act (restricting campaigning by public employees). There are a thousand horrible things the Democrats do under the wire when office.

There is a heck of a big difference between the parties.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The embargo should be lifted because it accomplishes nothing and wastes resources."

I disagree. I think it demonstrates a commitment to freedom and democracy. Abandoning it without good reason - like free and fair elections that happen without our connivance - is just the whole pragmatic RINO dance where Republicans adopt the same position as Democrats because that way seems to promise a few more votes. Even if it does lead to a small net increase in votes, it also demonstrates that principles are for sale and THAT costs votes by principled voters.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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