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Thursday, 18 December 2014

The SS Embargo is holed beneath the waterline

It was a truly historic moment: The day President Obama finally deserved that Nobel Peace Prize. By making his announcement yesterday, he has put himself into the history books as the President who finally had the cojones to free the White House from the grip of that Miami crazy gang.

The crazy gang are correct in one thing and one thing only, Obama's unilateral move yesterday did provide the Cuban government with a victory. Essentially, the Cuban government only released a few prisoners, but the United States admitted that its policy towards the country for the last 53 years was a failure. For that Obama deserves huge praise. To err is human but to admit one's errors is truly divine. Obama has not only moved US policy on Cuba, he has moved United States diplomacy onto a whole new plane. Americans should rejoice that they have a leader with such a vision.

Obama has used the Presidential prerogative to make foreign policy in the national interest and by making significant changes in the way that companies and individuals will be able to engage with Cuba, and more importantly send money, visit and do business with the island, he has delivered a death blow to the whole embargo.

The best analogy was used some time ago by my colleague, Professor Phillip Brenner of American University. He said that you have to think of the embargo as ship which has holes in it. The holes are exceptions such the permission for US farmers to export food or the right of Cuban Americans to visit etc. The proponents of the embargo are like the crew keeping the ship afloat by busily blocking up holes or stopping them from getting bigger. Well, Obama's announcement yesterday just made so many holes in the ship that they will find it impossible to stop the leaks.

The SS embargo is holed below the waterline and will soon sink into beneath waves of history.

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