From Friday’s “All-Stars.”
On the possibility of a new Cuba policy:
It was said in the ’50’s that the way to win the cold war with Russia was to send squadrons of B-52s and drop nylon stockings on the Soviet Union.
We actually won the cold war in a different way. But with Eastern Europe, we won it with openness, the Helsinki process.
So it’s arguable which is the most effective. We have had 50 years of an embargo on Cuba, but the grip of the Castros and the army and the party is so strong that it hasn’t worked. So I’m agnostic on this.
If Obama wants to try openness, that’s good. What he has done now is not a total openness, like Helsinki, but what he has done is to make a gesture, which is to allow some increased commerce and travel, and what he’s waiting, appropriately, for is a response, which would mean seeing that the Cubans release some political prisoners.
If he gets a response, I think he ought to make a further gesture, and if, ultimately, it ends up with openness, that’s a tact we ought to try. I don’t think any of us should have an ideological commitment to a tactic. Whatever works in liberating Cuba, I think we ought to try.