This past Sunday, the largest popular protests in decades erupted in Cuba, with thousands of demonstrators across the island taking to the streets to decry acute shortages of basic necessities (including food and medicine), rolling blackouts, and suffocating restrictions on political freedoms that persist over six decades after the Cuban Revolution.
It’s time to call the Cuban government’s bluff. Ending the embargo would help the country’s embattled private sector, giving its people hope for a non-Communist future.
Cuba has entered the 2020s much in the same fashion as it did in the 1990s; the world is a more uncertain place, its main economic backer is riven by a major economic collapse, and its relations with its northern neighbor are tense. But there are differences.
While the Helms-Burton Act imposes conditions that must be met before the Cuban embargo can be lifted, the president has “the authority to unilaterally terminate the embargo based upon the constitutional primacy of the president’s office in managing U.S. foreign relations.”