New York Times Insists on End of Embargo on Cuba

This morning, the influential American newspaper The New York Times published an editorial in which it demanded the lifting of the economic embargo against Cuba. Although this is not the first time the newspaper has done so, this time the newspaper makes the connection that, by maintaining the embargo, Washington is losing regions to its adversaries, countries such as China and Russia.

Additionally, for the first time ever, in an effort to stress its opinion in general and with respect to the Hispanic population, The New York Times published a complete Spanish translation of the editorial on its website. “[Washington] could also help American companies that are interested in developing the island’s telecommunications network but remain wary of the legal and political risks,” the editorial says.

In this way, The New York Times addresses one of the Obama administration’s proposals brought forth during the 2008 campaign, at which time Obama suggested lifting the telecommunications restrictions on Cuba and facilitating Internet access to the communist island, a tactic also proposed by Havana.

Additionally, the newspaper suggests that the relations between the two nations should be more open, broader and free of ties. “Restoring diplomatic ties, which the White House can do without congressional approval, would allow the United States to expand and deepen cooperation in areas where the two nations already manage to work collaboratively — like managing migration flows, maritime patrolling and oil rig safety. It would better position Washington to press the Cubans on democratic reforms, and could stem a new wave of migration to the United States driven by hopelessness,” stresses the article.

The two countries actually have full diplomatic missions. However, these relations are only on the interest-sector level and do not include embassies. Both diplomatic missions, in Washington and Havana, survive under an umbrella of the Swiss government but communicate directly with the chancelleries. The missions even have consular sectors that may grant travel visas without major complications.

The New York Times has always advocated for the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba. However, this morning’s editorial acquires a particular flair, because it openly suggests that American companies should penetrate the Cuban economy. This represents a clear and complete abandonment of the economic embargo.

The Newspaper Believes that Diplomatic Improvements Are Imperative

The New York Times editorial was received with certain distance in Miami, a city where Barack Obama is not a favorite of the exiled Cuban community. However, there are exceptions. “It is an extraordinary editorial to me. It makes complete sense, because they must always let us as Cubans speak with our families. I have always told President Obama to not impede connections between our families. And he listened,” said Democratic Congressman Joe García to El Mundo.

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