This past February marked the 50thanniversary of Washington’s embargo against Cuba. The birthday, which went uncelebrated here and in the Caribbean, was a grim reminder of the persistence of one of Washington’s most egregious foreign policy blunders.
Enacted less than a year after President Kennedy’s ill-fated attempt to unseat Fidel Castro’s fledgling communist government at the Bay of Pigs, the embargo was designed with the express purpose of ousting Castro and his fellow revolutionaries from power. Renewed on a yearly basis under the aegis of the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, the policy was last extended in September 2011 by President Obama, who stated, “I hereby determine that the continuation for 1 year of [the embargo] with respect to Cuba is in the national interest of the United States.”
But is it?