By Bri Vazquez Smith ~
Today we went to Florida International University for a lecture and conversation on US Cuba relations led by Jorge Duany, Director of the Cuban Research Institute at FIU. I think it’s always interesting to hear different people’s opinions from both sides, and he shared a popular opinion, that the embargo was unnecessary and that Cuba has problems that need to be addressed but aren’t being addressed in an effective way. Most of the people we have talked to in Cuba and in Miami have very strong feelings about what both governments have done to the Cuban people, the “Wet-foot Dry-foot” policy being one of the most talked about policies. As difficult as it was for Cubans to leave the island and get to America when that policy was in effect, the revocation of it has made it exponentially difficult. People are trying to come in through Central America and Mexico but are being stopped at the boarders of several countries trying to crack down on human trafficking.
The consensus among Cubans and Cuban Americans is that if the embargo were lifted today, not much would change for people in Cuba. There has to be a serious change in government in Cuba, and America and other nations must be willing to help, not take over and impose their own ideals on Cuba.